No-handed Super Man in MotoX Freestyle
All Photos by Kathleen Gasperini
Pictures say a thousand words and based on what we managed to take -during practice, no less -leaves us speechless even as we write up the re-cap of the most watched event at the X Games last weekend, July 30-August 2, in Los Angeles at the Home Depot Center. MotoX Freestyle is indeed one of the most exciting events to watch as these guys battle it out pulling the most insane moves off SuperCross kickers, sharp-pitched ramps, and massive gaps that require an immense amount of speed and athleticism. Once skyborne they do a multiple of tricks with funny names like a heel-clicker-to-360-can-can or a no-handed-Super-Man, all before grabbing their bike and continuing through a complicated motocross course.
Once considered more circus than athletic performance, now motocross freestylers ranging from the X Games competitors to the notorious Metal Mulisha, have an incredible following among youth culture today. There’s an entire troupe on the current Rockstar Mayhem Tour (metal fest), and name dropping of the top guys in movies like “Ocean 13” and others is a sign of cred in entertainment circles. Motocross freestylers have reached such a pinnacle of popularity, that it’s one of the few crossover sports that attracts mainstream NASCAR fans and top skaters, many of whom nestled in to watch the finals in the press boxes on Sunday.
Gold medalist Blake Williams
Blake Williams from Australia won the gold by beating out Jeremy Stenberg in the 3rd round. As he said in the press room after, “I’m living the dream right now. But in my 3rd run, I did a heel clicker 360 and crashed, but came back.” Interestingly, Blake and his entire family have been trailed by a TV crew over the last few weeks in a show about to air about freestyle motocross and Blake’s rise to popularity. “I’m sure with only like, 4 channels in Australia a lot of people will watch it. We don’t have much of a choice.”
In second, Jeremy Stenberg was extremely pleased but said he couldn’t help but think about their friend, motocross freestyle rider Jeremy Lusk who had won gold in the event last year, but died after a terrible fall in practice a couple of months previous. “He was a great guy,” said Jeremy in the press conference. “A great competitor and a great friend. I dedicate my medal to him.”
Nate Adams rounded out top winners with the bronze in his 8th X Games appearance.
A funny note about the medals: When Blake was examining the cool design, he flipped his over and noticed it said “women’s Super X gold.” Just then all the other guys flipped their medals over and everyone started laughing as they realized that indeed, they’d all won the women’s medals, meaning the women had the men’s. As the guy who’d won the most, Nate said, “That’s OK, I’m just gonna keep this one.”
Nate Adams with bronze, Blake Williams with gold, Jeremy Stenberg wwith silver. This was taken right after they realized they had the women%uFFFDs motocross medals.
This is what a heel-click looks like.
Crazy moves. Not sure he landed this one.
Being upside down is par for freestyle motocross riders.
Looks like he%uFFFDs going to ditch, but he makes the rotation before landing.
This is Blake Williams again we believe. This move was a backwards blind move. Very difficult.
He truly is completely upside down with his feet on the seat. And he sticks it.
Australian Blake Williams, the gold medalist of the X Games MotoX Freestyle.
Silver medalist Jeremy Stenberg dedicated his medal to his late friend and fellow freestyle motocross competitor, Jeremey Lusk.