Posts Tagged ‘Alexis Sablone’

Friday was jam-packed with events, and I got Floor Access too.  Unfortunately, I had forgotten when access started, and the ticket didn’t say when.  One volunteer said I could go down in the morning so that’s what I did.  Then I got kicked out of one area, forbidden from another, and then invited in the media platform behind the photographers for a portion of the Women’s Skateboard Street Qualifier.

Women’s Skateboard Street Qualifier

  • The skaters seemed really chill even if it was a tight competition for the final qualifying spots.
  • Nanaka Fujisawa did really well for a newcomer (and a young’un).
  • Mariah Duran was ON.  Both of her qualifying runs were among the highest scoring.
  • Then there’s Alexis Sablone, whom you can count on for hitting some of the biggest tricks.
    day2_4048

Being on the floor was too nerve-wracking so I decided to head back up for to join my parents to watch BMX Dirt Qualifiers.  Unfortunately, all the doors look the same, and I got lost, wound up where all the athletes were, and then finally found another elevator with some VIPs.  As a result, I missed a chunk of the BMX Dirt Qualifiers but I caught the second runs.

BMX Dirt Qualifiers

  • Everybody was pulling out all the stops.  Who was going to enter the final kept changing up to the very end it seemed, and some  former gold medalists like Ryan Nyquist and Kevin Peraza didn’t make it.day2_4057
    You can always count on Kevin for great extension.
  • When did cash rolls and tailwhip backflips become staples?
  • My mom knows nothing about action sports or how scoring works for any event, but she was very impressed with Brian Fox’s first run.
  • Dawid Godziek was a name I wasn’t familiar with, but I’m gonna remember it how huge he went.

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We’ve reached the end. . . reluctantly. I have some great memories of being at the X Games, and I got to re-live some of it by watching all the replays.  In case you missed any of my recaps, here are the links: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Also, if you want to see more photos, mosey on over to my Flickr.

Best Female Athlete – Alexis Sablone (Skateboard)
Nobody was more on point in the Women’s Skateboard Street contest than Alexis Sablone. She took risks and it paid off with her solid skating.

Best Male Athlete – Daniel Sandoval (BMX)
What a weekend it was for Daniel Sandoval. First he blasted through the Park course to win gold, and then he came in Dirt as an alternate, overcoming nerves to lead the pack for a good portion of the finals.

Newcomer to Watch – Mykel Larrin (BMX)
XG2015 BMX Vert05
Another BMXer who had a great time was Mykel Larrin. After a good performance in Vert, he came into Big Air as an alternate and walked away with silver, and this was his second X Games.

Most Dramatic Finals – tie between RallyCar Racing and Stadium Super Trucks
I couldn’t decide between all the events, but eventually I narrowed it down to one that was fantastic in person (despite the elements) and one that made me excited at home.  There’s the joke that “with age comes the cage”, but both Rally and Stadium Super Trucks have produced more carnage than any race I’ve seen.

Best Trick – Thomas Pages’ Bike Flip (Moto X)
Although this was another tough category, I had to give it Thomas Pages. He shouldn’t be doing that kind of stuff on a dirt bike, and yet he rode away in this debut event.

Picture Perfect Moment – Shaded view of BMX Vert  photo josh20duplechian_zpswjs2risw.jpg
By Joshua Duplechian/ESPN. From xgames.espn.go.com
I thought it would be unfair to select one of my photos so I picked my favorite from another photographer. I’m still a little biased since this was my parasol. Nevertheless, it was quite an impressive shot to get from the middle of a crowd, and he was nice to not disturb me (red hat) and my parents (camo hat and tan hat).

My favorite from my own is the one of Bob Burnquist doing his one-footed switch ollie over the MegaRamp gap. You can see clearly the commitment, as well as the difficulty.

Best Moment Outside Competition – Travis Pastrana rides a mechanical bull XG2015 09
Getting to see Travis Pastrana take on the mechanical bull made standing in the sun totally worth it. He did it twice too since he didn’t want to be shown up by a couple of little kids.

Most Educational Moment – Burt Jenner teaches us about acceptance and pronouns
I was irked by the fact that X Games asked Burt Jenner about Caitlyn in the middle of the Stadium Super Trucks; that was probably the last thing on his mind. However, Burt demonstrated a lot of grace and showed that it’s okay to mess up pronouns as long as you apologize and try your best. I think the X Games commentators could have learned a lot from this instance.

Greatest Comeback – Maria Forsberg (Moto X)
Having a baby is a tough job. That’s not something I would have realized until I saw several of my peers juggle pregnancy and raising a kid with their daily lives. Therefore, I have to give Maria Forsberg props for coming out of retirement and then placing 5th in Women’s Enduro X final.

Most Inspirational – Colton Satterfield lands the double flair and gives a moving speech in BMX Big Air
Watching Colton make history and land the double flair on his final attempt, the last run of the night, was such a magical moment. Then he took it a step further and talked about how last year’s gold made him realize that he had the power to inspire others, and that’s what he came out to do this year. His conversation with Jack Mitrani on X Games Extra was making me tear up because it exemplified what drew me into action sports.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Bob Burnquist (Skateboard) XG2015 Big Air Doubles04
How have I gone so long without giving the winningest X Games athlete this award? I guess it’s because Bob Burnquist is still going strong. He added too Big Air gold medals to his collection while dealing with a broken arm. Nothing has held him down and nothing can, and more than anyone, he truly deserves his honor.

Congratulations again to all the winners and really props to all the athletes! I have a new-found appreciation for how hard they work. Get well soon to everyone who got banged up. Thanks to everyone who signed autographs and stopped for photos; y’all truly made the experience even more special. That’s all for now. See you in Aspen (virtually— not sure I can brave the cold just yet… maybe one day).

XG2015 05

I missed about half of Day 2 due to a late family dinner and then getting stuck in traffic. My dad’s iPad let me keep up-to-date with the results, but no ESPN app means no watching. Luckily some of the events got delayed/lasted longer than usual so I made it home in time for the end of Step-Up and Best Trick.

BMX thoughts

  • A Tumblr user challenged my prediction of Garrett Reynolds getting the five-peat in BMX Street. I was curious to see if Chad Kerley could beat Garrett.
  • The finals was really just Chad versus Garrett. Their highest scored were eight points greater than the rest.
  • However, the “battle for bronze” was pretty exciting too: lots of solid riding from everyone, notably Dakota Roche.
  • It’s hard to believe that Chad is a Summer X rookie.  He rode so smoothly.
    chadkerley, Photo by Christian Van Hanja / ESPN Images Photo by Christian Van Hanja/ESPN Images (X Games livestream)
  • Harder to believe is the fact that Garrett can get an equivalent score even with a fall (though his fall was at the last second so I wonder if the judges really counted that). His barspin 540 wallride was one of the sickest tricks of the day!

Motocross thoughts

  • Apparently Snoop Dogg Tweeted for people to vote for Twitch in Best Whip and called him “my nephew”.
  • Matt Buyten and Ronnie Renner made a joke out of the current record of 37 feet.
  • It was a duel between Step-Up styles: Ronnie’s whipped form versus Matt’s straight-on method.
  • The hard landings were making me cringe. Jeremy McGrath sounded pained when he talked about it, and Travis Pastrana apparently walked out of the announcers’ booth. Landing is a hazard.
  • Ronnie was obviously in pain, but he really wanted the gold. Sometimes it’s not about having fun.
  • The new record is 47 feet!
  • After the dramatic showdown in Step-Up, my heart continued to race for Best Trick. Sometimes I think that FMX will be the end of me.
  • Thomas Pages did a weird sideways body varial.  Travis’ mind was blown.
  • Taka Higashino was defying both physics and death with the rock solid backflip. He had to fight the centripetal force of a flip and the danger of missing a grab or hitting the front brake.
  • Double backflip is old and not technical, but its risk factor led to Cam Sinclair’s high score.
  • Kyle Loza’s BMX-inspired bike flip is apparently 8-9 years in the making. People were saying that he’s too small.
  • Jackson Strong did a shirtless backflip body varial double grab… a.k.a. the Jack.
    jacksonstrong, Photo from X Games Tumblr Photo from X Games Tumblr
  • Thomas repeated his varial on the larger gap but got a lower score.   I’m confused about that result.
  • To do a 720, you have to pull hard on the bars like you’re doing a double backflip, according to Travis. However, you can’t pull too hard.
  • Poor Clinton Moore crashed on the 720 and then got hit by a bike. Maybe X Games officials shouldn’t try to move riders’ bikes.
  • Taking your left hand off on the landing was apparently worth 0.33 points.
  • Kyle wanted to show that the bike flip is possible and prove the critics wrong, which makes his decision to not take a second run so much more difficult to watch. I’m really disappointed in the so-called fans who boo’ed him and called him names on-line. At the end of the day, we should be wanting our guys to be safe and sound.
  • I want to send my best wishes to Myles Richmond and Kyle, both of whom left the Staples Center in a stretcher.

Skateboard thoughts

  • Mad props to Alexis Sablone for juggling education with skating. I had such a hard time just keeping up as a spectator while in college, and she excels at both (being an archi is hard and she’s going to do grad work at MIT).
  • Rachel Reinhard had one of the sickest tricks: a double kickflip over the chain.
  • Alexis took a lot of risks to endure her lead, going over large gaps and trying a grind over the handrail.
  • Lacey Baker also tried to go big by attempt to jump two of the chains diagonally.
  • If anybody doubts the skills of women’s skateboarders, this final definitely would prove them wrong.

Congratulations to Alexis Sablone (Women’s Skateboard Street), Garrett Reynolds (BMX Street), Bob Burnquist (Skateboard Big Air), Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg (Moto-X Best Whip), Ronnie Renner (Moto-X Step-Up), and Jackson Strong (Moto-X Best Trick) on their victories!

Prediction Status: 2/6
Quote of the Day: “[Clinton Moore] is a lot smarter than me.” – Travis Pastrana
Trick of the Day:  Taka Higashino’s rock solid backflip to one-handed lander
Inspiration of the Day: All the FMX riders – so much courage and strength.
Question of the Day: What did you think of the judging in Moto-X Best Trick?