eXponential Awards – X Games Sydney 2018 edition

Posted: January 27, 2019 in X Games
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Okay I lied about doing a wrap-up of X Games Minneapolis 2018 (although I do reference it a lot below).  You can revisit those memories here: Thursday recap, Friday recap, and Saturday/Sunday recap.

X Games Sydney was super rad even if the time difference didn’t allow me to join in live.  I was supposed to have this up before X Games Aspen, but it’s been a busy couple of months.  In any case, enjoy this look-back at the inaugural Australian X Games event.

Best Female Athlete – Mariah Duran (Skate)

Mariah Duran had an awesome year in 2018, and it’s been a long time coming.  She showed that there was more than luck involved in her Minneapolis win by upping the ante and nailing all her tricks.

Best Male Athlete – Tom Pages (Moto-X)
Like Mariah, Tom Pages was out to prove that his victory in Minneapolis wasn’t a fluke.  He overcame a quickly deteriorating course and a crash in his first run to throw down his signature mind-blowing tricks, plus a no-handed double backflip, to get his second gold.

Newcomer to Watch – Dawid Godziek (BMX)
Another individual who conquered a muddy course was BMX Dirt’s Dawid Godziek.  While others put down a safety run to ensure a top spot, Dawid hucked it huge and became the first Polish athlete to medal and win at X Games.

Most Dramatic Finals – BMX Street
We thought it would be a Chad Kerley vs. Garrett Reynolds showdown, and in a way, it was.  However, some new challengers appeared: hometown hero Lewis Mills and the lone Scotsman Alex Donnachie.  They wound up taking the lead from the perennial faves, who put up a good fight up through the very end.

Best Trick – Ryan William’s Nothing Front Bike Flip (BMX)
For a split second, it looked like Ryan Williams was going to lose control of his bike.  It flew so far away from him as his limbs shot to the side, and yet he was able to bring it back and land.  So unique and awe-inspiring.

Picture Perfect Moment – Cult Bicycles Backflip (BMX)
xg sydney1
Photo by Brett Wilhelm (ESPN)
The handlebars perfectly frame Alex Nikulin’s backflip, making him look as though he’s flipping over the bars.   The view gets a rider’s POV without actually having to be there.

Best Moment Outside of Competition – FMX Doubles Demo
Although it would have been rad to see the actual competition, props must be given to the riders for still putting on a show after X Games Sydney technically ended.  We got a taste of this event that is a fascinating challenge for the riders (since apparently they only know their partner right before the contest).

Most Educational Moment – How to pop your shoulder back in

Josh Sheehan may not be a doctor, but he’s dealt seen enough dislocated shoulders to give his friends a hand.  We saw it in Minneapolis, and during practice in Sydney, he got a call from Axell Hodges for some advice (which was probably not all recorded).

Greatest Comeback – Elliot Sloan (Skate)
I had seen how badly Elliot Sloan wanted to land a trick on the Mega Ramp in Minneapolis.  He conquered his demons in Sydney to do the indy 720 to tailgrab 900 on his final run.  Everyone was stoked for him and his win.

Most Inspirational – Morgan Wade (BMX)
Morgan Wade started a revolution on the Mega Ramp, removing the railing to add a tailwhip to his drop-in.  His fellow riders took that as a cue to start adding a third trick to their run, and it might have changed Big Air forever.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Nyjah Huston (Skate)
xg sydney2 Photo by Lexi Markovic (Rad Season)
In a very close Skateboard Street final, Nyjah proved that he’s still the best.  We’ve seen him grow up, yet he’s never lost the fire.  His victory run was flawless and so fun to watch— probably because he was having fun himself.  It exemplified why Nyjah is one of the most influential skaters and definitely an icon of X Games.

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