Thursday, the 16th of May was the X Games 2013 official start in Barcelona, Spain. The games opened with skateboarding in the same venue as the 1992 Olympics diving competition where the steeples of Gaudi’s Sagrada Família and the city of Barcelona spread out below giving the competitors a spectacular view of the surrounding area.
The X Games are an annual sports event, controlled and arranged by the U.S. sports broadcaster ESPN (with coverage also being shown on its sister network ABC), which focuses on action sports. The first ever X Games event was held in the summer of 1995 in Rhode Island. With a similar system to the Olympics, competitors vie against each other to win bronze, silver and gold medals. And, in a departure from the Olympic system compete for prize money.
The X Games are split into two different events, winter and summer with each event featuring different sports and competitions. The games have strived to be an eco-friendly environmentally safe and supportive event. The measures by the organisers have included such things as using bio-diesel fuel in their vehicles and organizing recycling campaigns.
In 2004 the Winter X Games VIII was the first event that was televised live and it received coverage from the ESPN flagship news program, SportsCenter. The viewer ratings across the three networks that carried the coverage of the event which was ABC Sports, ESPN and ESPN2, all exceeded last year’s household average by 30% according to Nielsen Media Research.
In May 2011, ESPN held a bid to select three host cities in addition to Los Angeles, Aspen and Tignes, France to form a six-event calendar for the next three years beginning in 2013. In May 2012, the selected cities were announced: Barcelona, Spain; Munich, Germany; and Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil.
The Barcelona Summer X Games is running from 16 to 19 May and the remaining two summer venues will be at Munich, June 27–30 and Los Angeles, August 1–4.
The results of the first day’s skateboarding competition saw the current gold medal holder successfully holding on to the gold and he also held onto the record for being the oldest competitor in the event.
40 (that’s right, 40) year-old gold medalist Bucky Lasek grabbed the gold again and was so busy giving a “gold medal” performance that he professed that he hadn’t even noticed the breathtaking backdrop of the venue.
The silver and the bronze medals were won by 26 year-old Marcelo Bastos and 16 year-old Mitchie Brusco respectively. When asked about the surrounding view, Mitchie said that he actually noticed the it while Marcelo said he climbed halfway up a light standard for a better look after the competition. Which may explain why neither one got the ultimate gold medal. They were too distracted by that spectacular view!
Today in Barcelona has seen the SLS Qualifier and the three finals of BMX Freestyle Vert, Moto X Speed & Style and Skateboard Big Air medal competitions.
Day three will feature the women’s skateboarding finals, the BMX park finals, Street League Skateboarding Final, Men’s & Women’s Enduro X Final, and the Moto X Freestyle Final.
The final day will feature the BMX Street Final, Men’s Skateboard Park Final, Ford Rallycross Final, BMX Street Final, Moto X Best Whip Final, Moto X Step Up Final, GoPro BMX Big Air Final, and the Men’s Skateboard Park Final.
These events will be aired on television and to find out more about the games and how they are going, you can check out the official website at http://xgames.espn.go.com/events/2013/barcelona/schedule/.
By Michael Smith