25 most memorable moments of XGLA
Most Memorable Moments of X Games LA
Before the X Games bids farewell to Los Angeles, take a minute to reflect back on some of the more memorable highlights from the past 10 years of summer fun in the City of Angels.
25. X Games comes to Los Angeles, 2003
After a two-year run in Philadelphia, the X Games moved to Los Angeles for X Games 9 in 2003. The new event was held between the Staples Center and the L.A. Coliseum in August. Though still warm outside, L.A. offered a great alternative to the East Coast humidity of the prior two years. Here, a young Paul Rodriguez, left, poses with Eric Koston, center, and Rodil de Araujo Jr., right, during Skateboard Street at the Staples Center in 2003.
24. The MegaRamp debuts at X Games, 2004
In 2004, the MegaRamp, a creation spearheaded by skateboarder Danny Way, made its X Games debut in the parking lot adjacent to the Staples Center (now home to L.A. Live) for Skateboard Big Air. Seated atop an 60-foot-high roll-in that featured a 70-foot gap followed by a 27-foot-high quarterpipe, Way demonstrated a new discipline of skateboarding to the X Games audience. He also jumped over the Great Wall of China using a similar ramp.
23. Skateboard Park gets a face-lift, 2009
Skateboard Park at the X Games took a major step forward in 2009 when organizers introduced the temporary concrete park. The structures, which are now becoming ubiquitous on many contest circuits, made for authentic, exciting competitions. Rune Glifberg, pictured, took home the first gold medal in X Games Park 2.0.
22. Back-to-back BMX 900s, 2007
In 2007, outside the Home Depot Center, veteran BMX Vert competitor Simon Tabron dropped in for his final run, spun back-to-back 900 airs and won X Games silver. The 900 had been conquered on a BMX bike years before, but doing two 900s back-to-back was unheard of until Tabron made it a reality. To this day, no other BMX rider has laid claim to the feat, landing it in the annals of X Games Los Angeles history.
21. Women's Enduro X debuts, 2011
The debut of Women's Enduro X in 2011 had its ups and downs. The female competitors struggled mightily to ride the challenging course and crashes ruled the day. But Maria Forsberg managed to persevere through her crashes (pictured, left) and still beat the silver medalist by over a minute to win her first X Games gold (right).
20. Pastranathon, 2011
In addition to his NASCAR debut, X Games legend Travis Pastrana was scheduled to compete in Moto X Best Trick, Freestyle and RallyCross, all in one weekend. But he crashed hard in Best Trick while attempting the TP Roll, and it looked to be over for the Pastranathon. That is until his RallyCross crew rigged his car to allow Pastrana to control the car with just his hands. He went on to finish fourth in the race.
19. BMX Street five-peat, 2012
From the first BMX Street event at the X Games in 2008 through 2012, the gold belonged to Garrett Reynolds. With his streak hanging in the balance in 2012, Reynolds pulled off the best run of the competition on the final run of the day to hold off X Games rookie Chad Kerley. At the time, Reynolds was the only athlete to ever win gold in BMX Street history.
18. Women's Skate Added, 2003
In 2003 and 2004, respectively, women were invited to compete in Skateboard Vert and Street for the first time at X. The queen of the vert ramp from the outset was Cara-Beth Burnside, who won three of the first four gold medals awarded. Elissa Steamer (pictured here, competing in 2005) won the first three years Street was contested.
17. Nothing But The Bestwick, 2012
Calling Jamie Bestwick the king of BMX Vert is an understatement. But in L.A. in 2012, he took it to another level by annihilating his competition by 14 points to win his sixth consecutive BMX Vert gold medal at the X Games. The six-peat was a first for a solo competitor and Bestwick isn't done yet. He won the first two X Games Vert comps in 2013 and is scheduled to be in L.A., looking for nine in a row.
16. BMX Dirt Domination, 2006
From 2004 through 2006, one name emerged from the BMX Dirt discipline to dominate with a three-peat that would last through the cancellation of BMX Dirt in 2006: Corey Bohan. Bohan came onto the scene from Australia in the early '00s, and with a hybrid mixture of style and tricks, grabbed three consecutive X Games gold medals in BMX Dirt. After Dirt was dropped from X Games, Bohan transcended into BMX Park for several years at X Games Los Angeles.
15. Nyjah Huston Arrives, 2006
In 2006, an 11-year-old Nyjah Huston competed in Skateboard Street, becoming the youngest athlete in X Games history (Skate Big Air competitor Jagger Eaton took the title from him in 2012). Huston finished in eighth place, but his presence signified a changing of the guard slowly taking place in the Skateboard Street ranks. To date, Huston currently holds seven X Games medals, including three golds.
14. First double front flip, 2009
During BMX Big Air finals at X Games 15 in 2009, Anthony Napolitan climbed to the top of the MegaRamp for his third run, dropped in and easily pulled the first double front flip on a BMX bike. Napolitan executed the trick without any warning, and everyone from the crowd to the announcer was in shock. Napolitan placed only fifth because he didn't do any tricks on the quarterpipe, but he made X Games history in the process.
13. Invasion of the Big Air Groms, 2012
A youth movement in Skateboard Big Air began in 2012 when the X Games opened the competition to a host of young competitors. Two 11-year-olds, Trey Wood and Jagger Eaton, joined 12-year-old Tom Schaar (pictured), and dropped in fearlessly on the six-story MegaRamp. The kids put on a good show, but it was mentor and elder statesman Bob Burnquist who walked away with gold. Youngster Mitchie Brusco, then 15, won silver.
12. First deaf gold medalist, 2009
Moto X competitor Ashley Fiolek won her first gold medal in women's Moto X Racing in 2009. Fiolek, who was born deaf, made her move on Jessica Patterson on the second turn of the final lap and never looked back. Fiolek's win wasn't the only first of the evening, as the race was also the highest-rated women's event in the history of the X Games.
11. Hot Wheels Double Loop Dare, 2012
In 2012, Hot Wheels joined the X Games with its Double Loop Dare event. Stunt driver Greg Tracy and RallyCross driver Tanner Foust took the wheels of their respective cars and successfully drove through the loop to the delight of the crowd in L.A. Foust and Tracy hit 52 mph on the track and experienced approximately 7 G's going through the loop.
10. Ryan Sheckler wins gold at 13, 2003
During Skateboard Park at X Games 9, an up-and-coming young skateboarder from San Clemente, Calif., named Ryan Sheckler became the youngest gold medalist in X Games history. Then 13 years old, Sheckler, still wearing braces, emerged to take a decisive victory. Sheckler remains a heated competitor on the X Games circuit, now competing in Street League at X Games.
9. Kevin Robinson's double flair, 2006
On Aug. 4, 2006, during BMX Vert Best Trick, Kevin Robinson landed a never-before-seen trick inside the Staples Center that brought the crowd to its feet and Robinson's fellow vert competitors to the flat bottom of the vert ramp in celebration: the double flair. Combining two off-axis backflips into a BMX vert aerial, Robinson stuck the landing and made his way into both the X Games and BMX history books. To date, no other BMX rider has ever landed a double flair.
8. Tony Hawk lands 900, 2003
In 2003, Tony Hawk landed a 900 air just as the buzzer rung to end his run in Skateboard Vert. The trick helped Hawk land gold in the event.
7. New Moto X Step Up Record, 2012
In one of the most exciting Moto X Step Up competitions the X Games ever saw, Ronnie Renner, left, beat out Matt Buyten, right, with a record-setting jump that saw him clear heights in excess of 47 feet. Renner's jump shattered the old Step Up record of 35 feet held by Buyten. The old rivals will be in L.A. for the X Games on Friday, Aug. 2, for the final Step Up showdown of 2013.
6. Shaun White beats PLG, 2011
Already a legend in the halfpipe at Winter X, White showed up at X Games 17 looking to win a second gold in Skateboard Vert to go with the one he scored in 2007. He strung together a 720, body varial frontside 540 and heelflip body varial frontside 540 on his final run to edge out Pierre-Luc Gagnon for the win and his then 21st combined winter and summer X Games medal.
5. Brian Deegan's Moto X 360, 2003
In 2003, Moto X Freestyle competitor Brian Deegan became the first FMX athlete to land a 360 on a motocross bike. Deegan dubbed the trick the "Mulisha Twist" and won bronze in Moto X Freestyle and gold in Moto X Best Trick. Months later, Deegan traveled to Winter X Games in early 2004 and broke his femur and both wrists while attempting the 360 over a 100-foot jump.
4. Rally Joins X, Colin McRae Rolls, 2006
The late World Rally Championship legend Colin McRae (who died in a helicopter crash in 2007) looked like he had gold wrapped up in the first-ever Rally Car Racing event at X Games. But on the final jump of the race, the 38-year-old Scotsman lost a tire on the landing and rolled his car in one of the most spectacular crashes the X Games has ever seen. Travis Pastrana passed him to take the gold medal and McRae crawled across the finish line for silver.
3. Dawn of the Moto X body varial, 2004
X Games has always been home to firsts in action sports and Chuck Carothers' 360-body varial in 2004 was one for the ages. The trick had never been done in competition before and Carothers had never done the trick without a foam pit. But he nailed it on his first run in Moto X Best Trick to beat out Travis Pastrana and Nate Adams, ride away with gold and open the door for varial variations for years to come.
2. Jake Brown's epic fall, 2007
At the 2007 summer X Games, Jake Brown landed the first 720 in Big Air competition, then got speed wobbles on the quarterpipe, bailed from his skateboard and plunged 47 feet from high above the Staples Center to the flat bottom of the MegaRamp. He was knocked unconscious and suffered a broken right wrist and broken vertebrae, plus bruises on his liver and lungs. Brown miraculously walked away from the crash and earned a silver medal that year. The fall garnered worldwide media attention.
1. Pastrana's double backflip, 2006
The pivotal moment from the last decade of the X Games in L.A. comes down to one name and one trick: Travis Pastrana and the first Moto X double backflip. Pastrana unleashed the new trick during Best Trick finals in 2006, and in the time since, his double revolution has become synonymous with the X Games' time in Los Angeles.