Posts Tagged ‘Ronnie Renner’

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.
 photo EI_259752_060614_Big-Air-Final_003_zps8b1486a4.jpg
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
XGAustin14-2 photo XGamesAustin8KgZiWq1o16l_zpsd43dc29c.jpg
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)
 photo Renner-Step-Up-X-Games_zps9463cef4.jpg
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.

Advertisements

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?