Posts Tagged ‘Mitchie Brusco’

My goal was to finish this before X Games Aspen 2020, but that didn’t quite happen.  Better late than never, right?  The trade-off is that you get a ton of photos because I was present at X Games Minneapolis almost all of Saturday and got great seats for some of the comps.

Saturday was Women’s Day, and I wanted to show my support for the female BMX riders boycotting X Games due to the lack of a competition.

I’ll make a different post about their fight, but my little form of protest actually led to me making a new friend.  So my plan kinda worked in that it brought women together in support of other women, yay!

BMX Park

  • The riders kinda had it tough because no one was pre-qualified, and the finals immediately followed the semifinals.  Everyone did well, but only half the field could proceed.
  • Larry Edgar blasted through the course, as expected, but he didn’t get the scores to move on.  We saw him go to the stands to watch the rest of the contest.
  • Two guys I was unfamiliar with, Jose Torres and Rim Nakamura, definitely impressed me.  Rim especially was on fire!
  • Logan Martin definitely had his eyes on the repeat win.  He was solid all the way through, and now he’s the first BMX Park rider to get consecutive golds. (more…)

Saturday was jam-packed with events.  We wound up taking a break in the middle.  Unfortunately that led to missing a good portion of the BMX Dirt finals because there weren’t a lot of restaurants open on the side of town close to the stadium.


  • Bad luck for Bryce Hudson, getting eliminated first and dislocating his shoulder.  Then he proposed to his girlfriend and she said “yes” so he still won in the end.
  • Colby Raha showed that you also need to remember to go forward, as well as up, to clear the bar.
  • Jarryd McNeil could’ve gone a few feet higher, but he did what was necessary to get the gold.  Later I learned that he didn’t immediately go to the interview/waiting area because he threw up from nerves.  Hopefully next year will be more relaxing (as much as that is possible for Step Up).


  • Mariah Duran was on fire!  She’s really upped her game.
  • Leticia Bufoni and Alexis Sablone were the most consistent in landing their runs.
  • My parents opted to not watch the finals due to all the misses/falls in the qualifier.  They missed out on a great competition, and everyone was landing their tricks.
  • I came with a mission to get Lacey Baker to sign her “Push with Pride” print.  At first, she didn’t notice me, but the guy next to me called out to her.  Thank you fellow fan!  She looked tired so we didn’t talk, but I appreciated that she did take the time to sign autographs.

BMX DIRT (more…)

Originally I had planned to combine my Day 1 and 2 notes since there were only two events on Thursday and I had to miss half of yesterday’s action.  However, I had so much stuff written down that I decided to split them up again.  It’s a little surprising since I’ve also been Tweeting during the broadcast.  You can blame social media for keeping me away from making these posts, but on the bright side, I’ve made my return to the forum (it felt like an overdue homecoming).

Motocross thoughts

  • Since Freestyle was juxtaposed with Skateboard Big Air, I noted the difference in announcing styles. Tony and Sal are like the nice parents who give their kids a gold star for effort while Cameron and Tess are the more critical Asian parents.
  • Taka Higashino’s rock solid backflip, the first ever, was insane! He let go three times while upside down.
  • Todd Potter wins the marketing award for handing out fake mustaches.
  • Levi Sherwood not only had great extension but he held his tricks out for as long as possible.
  • Taka’s run was apparently written in Japanese so no one else could figure out what he did. I bet FMX trick names are written out in katakana.
  • Todd’s whip was huge… a glimpse at what he’d do for Best Whip?
  • Levi’s legs actually go over his head on the tsunami flip. It was like yoga on a dirt bike.
    XG18 Day1, From X Games facebook page.  By Olivia Bush
    Photo by Olivia Bush (
    X Games facebook page)
  • Adam Jones really got the short end of the stick. I kept hearing about how he was underscored, but his second run wasn’t even aired (it was the only run not aired).
  • The tie breaker between Nate Adams and Javier Villegas was confusing. The broadcast said Javier got the bronze, but they didn’t explain that the judges averaged the highest and lowest scores of their best run back in, instead of looking at the second run score. To make things worse, the site listed Nate as third, which made me think ESPN pulled a CNN. Everything finally got cleared up when the on-line report came out the next day.
  • This is the first year that an American rider is not on the podium. Taka is the first Asian athlete to have won a Summer X event since Takeshi Yasutoko took the gold in Aggressive In-line Vert in 2004, the last year they would hold that event.

Skateboard thoughts

  • It’s interesting to see how the face of skateboarding has changed. Kids can now train at Woodward and specialize in Big Air. Thankfully, the parents don’t seem to be the ones pushing the kids so no Skate Moms reality show yet.
  • Jagger Eaton is now the youngest X Games competitor ever. He beat Nyjah Huston by a few months.
  • Mitchie landed the first 900 in a Big Air contest on his victory lap during qualifiers. Looks like the nerves are gone.
  • Then Tom Schaars threw down two 9s like it’s no big deal… yet he only got second because he hit the smaller gap.
  • I had mixed feelings about Bob automatically getting to the finals.  Not that he didn’t deserve it given the pounding he received in practice, but I didn’t realize that was even allowed.
  • It looked like the judges want more technical tricks and amplitude (makes sense considering the name is Big Air).

Congratulations to Taka Higashino (Moto-X Freestyle) for being our first gold medalist!

Prediction Status: 0/1
Quote of the Day: “It’s really old school versus elementary school in Big Air.” – Sal Masakela
Trick of the Day: Mitchie Brusco’s 900
Inspiration of the Day: Taka Higashino
Question of the Day: Are you rooting for the old school skaters or the new kids?

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?