Posts Tagged ‘Jamie Bestwick’

Obviously I wasn’t expecting to go on hiatus again since I was in the middle of X Games Austin posts. It was a big snowball of work, other hobbies, politics, and yes, lack of motivation that kept me away. I’m looking to reignite the spark for blogging, and I’m gonna try to plow through these X Games posts (I may be skipping the 2017 winter events).

Just to refresh your memory, here was my previous post about the first two days of X Games Austin 2016.  Saturday was a supposed to have been a busy day, but the weather had other plans. The rain kept coming and going so events got moved to later in day or postponed until Sunday. With how frustrated I felt as a spectator, I can only imagine how much worse it was for the athletes.

Women’s Skate Street

  •  I didn’t get to catch much of women’s skate street because it started pouring shortly after the comp began.
  • Also, due to the raised stage, I couldn’t get a good view of the rails without going onto the grass (which I’m allergic to).
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  • It was cool seeing some of the women, especially Mariah Duran, help clean up the course later on in the replay.  They at least were in good spirits.
  • Later I learned that the spines on the fake cacti were actual screws.  Are they trying to make this more dangerous?!

The one upside to the rain was that while seeking shelter, I was able to meet Jamie Bestwick and get his autograph.  He really likes Austin so he was bummed that this was the last year (and he didn’t fault me for missing BMX Vert this year).

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He’s so tall and I’m so short that I wasn’t sure we’d fit in the frame. (more…)

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First I have to give a shout-out to Skype for giving me two extra tickets. My parents got to enjoy X Games with me and hang out in the Gold Lounge when they needed a break. It was the best deal ever, and it was all because I hopped in the chat.

Second, I wound up not going to Thursday’s Step-Up competition because I thought you had to buy tickets. It turned out that tickets were for the reserved area. I wish the X Games site had made that clearer, but it was probably better because parking was probably a nightmare.

Speaking of parking, if you’re there for the entire weekend, getting a pass on-line is a fantastic deal. It wound up being a little over $10, which was how much people were charging to park in the middle of a field half a mile away. You don’t want to be walking in a field on the side of the road late at night after Big Air; you could step in a ditch or cow poop. Okay, onto the events…
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BMX Vert

  • That green parasol you see in the crowd footage was us. It really helped us endure the heat.
  • My dad picked up on what the judges were looking for really quickly: amplitude, flow, style, and difficulty. The only thing he may have missed were the technical tricks that don’t look as big. I was impressed because he called most of top 5.
  • My mom might not have understood what was going on, but she was stoked for DMC because he’s 48 and still going strong.
  • I had no idea that Chad Kagy was injured until later on. He rode really well.
  • 540 flair— I couldn’t even register what had happened because all I could see was spinning. There’s no slow-mo in real life so you have to be quick. Seriously though, Vince Byron killed it. Everything was so solid.
    XG2015 BMX Vert15
  • Simon Tabron was also on fire that day. He had some of the biggest airs.
  • Jamie Bestwick put up a good fight but seemed a bit off in terms of height and rhythm. I loved the back-to-back-to-back flairs though. As he is known for being competitive, it was cool to see him pass the mantle over to Vince via personally handing him the gold.

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In an unfortunate turn of events, I wound up being out of the state just as the X Games came to Austin.  Despite catching bits and pieces of the live footage and keeping up with results on-line, I had to mainly watch the replays.   Not that it kept me from handing out my awards to the best of the best.  I’ve already made up my mind to go next year, and I’m already looking forward to it.

Best Female Athlete – Emma Gilmour (Rally)

Given how many sexist female driver comments I’ve heard from my own friends and family, I can only imagine how much adversity Emma Gilmour has faced.  The RallyCross community seems to really support her though, and she drove well, making it to the semis and unlike many of the guys, she didn’t crash once.

Best Male Athlete – Chase Hawk (BMX)
Even though I have some strong criticisms about BMX Park (mainly WTF judges?!), Chase still rode really well.  He was super smooth and remained cool under the eyes of his hometown watching.  You did Austinno, Texas proud!

Newcomers to Watch – Jimmy Wilkins and Alana Smith (Skateboarding)
I couldn’t pick between the two so we have a tie.  I missed Alana’s record-breaking Street debut in Barcelona, but she’s still one of the young’uns and definitely has the star power to be the female equivalent of Ryan Sheckler or Nyjah Huston.  As for Jimmy, the youngest Skateboard Vert winner, he killed it!  There has been much doubt over the new generation of skaters, but Jimmy is proving that they have the versatility and amplitude to rise to the top.

Most Dramatic Finals – Skateboard Big Air
With everyone taking an all-or-nothing approach, it was an exciting competition. Edgard Pereira unleashed a never-before-seen trick, and a point determined the difference between bronze and silver, silver and gold. In a very touching conclusion, the youngester Tom Schaar gets the gold handed to him by his friend from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
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Cameron Copeland and Tom Schaar. From mystatesman.com

Best Trick – Kyle Baldock’s front flip (BMX)
The highlight of Kyle’s winning run in BMX Dirt was the beautiful front flip. Most guys tuck before they launch themselves off the ramp, but he stretches out, which makes him look like he’s going in slow-mo.

Picture Perfect Moment – Blue Hour BMX vert by the Capitol
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By Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America (from Zimbio)
The Blue Hour is a term in photography for the brief time in the evening when the sky is this vibrant blue. Simon Tabron’s white tires provide a striking contrast while the State Capitol provides a dramatic backdrop.

Best Moment Outside Competition – Female riders check out the street course (BMX)
With a disappointing lack of women in the summer events, X Games made a huge step forward by inviting Angie Mariano, Perris Benegas, and Nina Buitrago to ride the BMX Street course. Ride BMX got a video of them practicing with the guys, and hopefully this means we’ll see a women’s division in the future.

Most Educational Moment – Sport Science breaks down Jamie Bestwick’s front flip flair

The front flip flair seems inhuman, but with physics, Sport Science proves that it is feasible. I’m glad there is some method to the madness.

Greatest Comeback – Taddy Blazusiak (Moto X)
Several times during the Men’s Enduro X final, the identity of the winner seemed to be uncertain. Taddy recovered from his bobbles though and held off many challengers, proving why he’s the dominant force in the sport.

Most Inspirational – Colton Satterfield rallies for Big Air and wins (BMX)
The wind was so strong that Freestyle Moto X was canceled. The same could have happened for BMX Big Air if Colton had not taken the initiative to get his fellow riders to do it for the crowd. If battling Mother Nature wasn’t enough, he unleashes a sick no-handed corked 720 barspin to triple tailwhip. Definitely the night’s hero.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Ronnie Renner (Moto X)
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By Drew Ruiz/KTM (motorcycle-usa.com)
Ronnie Renner has ten medals in Step-Up, five being gold. He’s also a world-record holder and one of the veterans of FMX. At Austin, he showed no signs of slowing down by easily grabbing gold #5 (check out the height from his GoPro), and we got to see some of those signature dance moves that made him one to watch over ten years ago.

Saturday at the X Games was just crazy. There were so many events going on (half of which were competing with what was apparently the second longest Wimbledon match for airtime). Among them was the Hot Wheels Double Loop Dare. It was a short one-shot event, which almost seemed like a waste considering how much space the loop took up. However, the feat was impressive, and it’s now in the record books.

BMX thoughts

  • Park was like a trip down memory lane. Familiar names like Ryan Nyquist and Scotty Cranmer were in the finals, and I was watching alongside my brother (who has fallen out of the scene). Good times.
  • Patrick Casey did flair whip in such a small space. It was shocking.
  • Brett “Banana Sandwich” Banasiewicz (actually his nickname is “Mad Dog”) had some HUGE tricks, like a triple whip and a 900, but he didn’t even medal. That’s how stiff the competition is and how important picking the right lines is.
  • Scotty was a great example of just having it all: technical tricks, use of the entire course, and smooth riding. XG18 Day3-1, From X Games Tumblr Photo from official X Game Tumblr
  • I panicked for a minute when I saw the Vert results on Twitter because I thought it would be broadcast live on TV. Who knew that the X Games could have spoilers?
  • Dennis McCoy is the only BMXer among the four athletes who have competed in all 18 X Games.
  • Jamie Bestwick was the first rider to break 40 points in the finals, and there was no stopping him after that.
  • Steve McCann had great amplitude but took a hard crash in one of the early runs.
  • All the guys rode well, but Jamie just has much more variation. It also helped that he didn’t have set-up airs (though I noticed that many more riders are now packing in the tricks).
  • Vince Byron made tailwhips look easy. He also attempted a decade air.
  • Both Steve McCann and Simon Tabron opted out their last runs probably due to the pain they were feeling from the crashes. Best save your body when you know that unless you’re at 100%, you’re probably not going to beat Jamie.

Motocross thoughts

  • Ashley Fiolek was absent from Women’s Moto-X Racing due to concerns about concussion effects. She hit her seven times this past year, the latest being three weeks ago (where she didn’t even remember finishing).
  • Vicki Golden got the holeshot, and that was it. By the end of the race, she led by 7 seconds.
  • They should have Vicki in Best Whip next year.
    xgamesday3-3, Photo by Brown Dog Wilson.  From viceversamx.com Photo by Brown Dog Wilson (viceversamx.com)
  • The camera angle for Speed and Style sucked for showing tricks over the big jump.
  • Robbie Maddison had a bad crash over the whoops in practice. ESPN first reported that he broke his tibia and fibia, but apparently that was a prior injury that confused the hospital staff. He did suffer from a collapsed lung and lacerations on his leg.
  • Matt Buyten was apparently “pleasantly surprised” at not being sore from the previous night’s Step-Up marathon.
  • This was Carey Hart’s X Games swan song. He put up a really good fight against Edgar Torrenteras in the quarterfinals.
  • It looked really scary whenever riders were going bar-to-bar up the ramp, especially when they were both planning to flip. One slight bobble and it would be ugly.
  • ET didn’t have enough speeding going into a backflip and crashed hard. He was lucky to have gotten the bike all the way around, but it was a rough landing. He was carried out on the stretcher while throwing the horns.
  • The finals was between Nate Adams and Mike Mason. Both looked incredibly comfortable with course, and their jerseys were similar in color so “yellow” and “black” was a very good way to distinguish them from afar.
  • Mase’s arenacross background definitely helped him win. He was the smoothest on the whoops the entire night.
  • So many motocross injuries seem to have happened these past couple of days. Get well soon to all the riders!

Skateboard thoughts

  • Park started off slow, but everyone really brought out the big tricks in the finals.
  • It was cool seeing vets Andy MacDonald and Rune Glifberg in the finals. I tend to forget that they are park skaters too.
  • Kevin Kowalski saved himself from a fall (they can only have two before the run is over) with a nice revert.
  • Pedro Barros lost his hat doing a trick and then came back around to grab it in the middle of his run. Talk about cool under pressure.
  • It was a big battle for first between Pedro, Rune, and Ben Hatchell.
  • Ben put up a really good fight. His tech tricks got him the highest scoring run.
  • Three of the four X Games super vets (that’s what I’m calling the guys who have been in all 18 comps) were competing in Vert: Andy MacDonald, Bob Burnquist, and Rune Glifberg.
  • Rob Lorifice and Adam Taylor looked sunburned. Wonder if they forgot their sunscreen during Big Air.
  • Body varial = body doing a 540 + board doing a 360.
  • There appeared to be some strategic skating during the heats, as competitors refrained from throwing their biggest tricks (according to Tony Hawk, it might get scored lower later).
  • Skateboard Vert had the most pottymouths. The TV would go silent for a couple seconds around the times guys who bail from a trick. I finally put two-and-two together when Sandro Dias had an “oops” expression on his face after saying something.
  • Pierre-Luc Gagnon trains for skateboarding by boxing.
  • 12-year-old Tom Schaar brought back memories of a young Shaun White. Even though they were low, his 900s were so smooth. Can’t wait to see more from him.
  • Last year it was Shaun versus PLG. This year, it was Bucky Lasek versus PLG.
  • Apparently Andy barely makes 720s when he’s practicing with Tony, but he always stomps them in contests. That sounds like good luck or efficient skating.
  • Both Bucky and PLG scored a 91, but Bucky had to work to break the tie since PLG had the higher average of five runs (normally they average three).
    XG18 Day3-3, From X Games Tumblr Photo from official X Game Tumblr
  • Double grab are good in FMX due to difficulty. In skateboarding, it often means you’re desperate to not fall.
  • PLG fell on his last run so that gave Bucky a chance to take the gold away. It looked like he was about to with the way he barely stayed on the board (working some Bob Burnquist magic). It was close but not enough.

Congratulations to Scotty Cranmer (BMX Park), Ryan Decenzo (Game of SK8) Pedro Barros (Skateboard Park), Jamie Bestwick (BMX Vert), Vicki Golden (Women’s Moto-X Racing), Mike Mason (Moto-X Speed and Style), and Pierre-Luc Gagnon (Skateboard Vert) on their victories!

Prediction Status: 6/12
Quote of the Day: Sal Masekela – “Why do I keep saying 500?”
Tony Hawk – “Well, he didn’t make it all the way around so it’s a 500.”
Trick of the Day: Scotty Cranmer’s double tailwhip backflip
Inspiration of the Day: Jono Schwan – At 15, he already has his own charity, and he’s helping raise money for the people who lost their homes in the Colorado Springs fires.
Question of the Day: What is your favorite Carey Hart X Games moment?

The schedule overlap annoys me, especially when I end up missing parts of my two favorite competitions— Moto-X Freestyle and BMX Freestyle Vert. Oh well, I saw the good stuff, and that’s all that matters.

BMX thoughts

  • Prior to the BMX Freestyle Vert finals, there have been only three athletes who have won gold five consecutive times, and two of them were a team (Tony Hawk and Andy MacDonald in Skateboarding Doubles). The third five-peater is Dave Mirra in Park.
  • Steve McCann was still on fire; he and Jamie Bestwick, who was dealing with a sinus infection, tied after their first runs. Jamie officially has competition .
  • Two hard crashes on 900 attempts (what is it about the 9 that is so difficult?). The silence after a rider goes down and doesn’t get up is so gut-wrenching.
  • Despite the frightening crashes, Vince Byron stomped the 540 double tailwhip and Steve lands a no-handed 900. Vince is the only guy doing that trick while Steve is the second person to land a no-handed 9 in competition (Mat Hoffman did it a few years back).
  • Nevertheless those sick tricks weren’t enough to beat Jamie, who packs so much in and rides so smoothly. I was a little surprised to see Vince and Steve concede to Jamie, but everybody did what they came out to do and were happy with their places.

FMX thoughts

  • Adam Jones took a weird fall, like he sat too far back. Jeremy McGrath (in the announcer’s booth) theorized that his front wheel knocked him back.
  • Taka Higashino had a creative side saddle start.
  • I can’t believe Nate Adams hasn’t been on top of the podium for 6 years, but now he’s back in business. The extention he got on the lazy boy was insane!
  • Due to the scheduling/broadcast issues, I missed most of the finals, but it was a fun one. The guys were all pumping up the crowd and jumping for joy. When the riders have fun, everybody else does too.


Skateboarding thoughts

  • The women of Skateboard Street are really tough, bouncing back from some hard slams. It’s a shame X Games got rid of the women’s division for Vert because these skaters are a real inspiration for young girls to give it their all and not be afraid.
  • I learned that grinds are harder than board slides.
  • The ladies have style both on their boards and in their wardrobes. I must admit that Leticia Bufoni was looking cute. She’s also looking pretty badass in this picture (by Olivia Bush from X Games facebook page). Photobucket
  • Mitchie Brusco is well beyond his years: he is younger than the X Games and he turned pro at the age of 3. His older sister had to teach him how to autograph! He took on the Mega Ramp like it was no big deal and played it cool in interviews. What a pro.
  • Did I mention he pulled a 900 in practice? He’s among the 6 skaters to have landed a 9.
  • In comparing a 900 on vert versus the Mega Ramp, Tony Hawk says that you go slower on the Mega Ramp, but you can spot your landing.
  • The Sport Science feature on Big Air in Bob Burnquist’s backyard was cool. It also put into perspective how painful every fall is (and the guys were taking a lot of them). The potential impact equals to about one ton.
  • I have concluded that the most played X Games footage are Tony’s 900, Travis Pastrana’s double backflip, and Jake Brown’s scary fall. You can guess which one I can live without seeing.
  • Yahoo! called Bob Burnquist an “unlikely X Games winner”. Yes, he was injured, but let’s not doubt his skills or youth.
  • On his victory run, Bob attempted a Superman backflip. Clearly he’s been hanging around Travis too long (he’s in Nitro Circus).

Congratulations to Marissa del Santo (Women’s Skateboard Street), Nate Adams (Moto-X Freestyle), Silas Baxter-Neal (Real Street), and Bob Burnquist (Skateboard Big Air) for their victories. Jamie Bestwick gets some special recognition for five-peating in BMX Freestyle Vert. To everyone who fell, I hope you have some time to recover soon.

Prediction Status: 3/7
Quote of the Day: “I want to call it the double fister.” – Tony Hawk on Bob’s double grab 540.
Trick of the Day: Steve McCann’s no-handed 900

Inspiration of the Day: Jamie Bestwick – He has worked really hard to get to the top, and he continues to do so. Age and injury have not stopped him. Neither do sinus infections, which usually put me out of action (next time I get one, I have to think about Jamie’s amazing run from tonight).
Question of the Day: What is it about the 9 that makes it so difficult for skateboarders and BMXers to land?