The X Games’ new home in Austin, TX from June 5-8, 2014, was a major success. Not only did the city of Austin greet the action sports athletes, fans, and sponsors with enthusiasm, but the new format for the games including music stages and performances from the Flaming Lips, Bad Religion, Mac Miller, and Kanye West brought out a festival-like atmosphere and a new version of what pro competitions should look like in the future.
On the final day of the games, Austin’s hometown hero Chase Hawk took the first gold of the day by winning BMX Park with notable style, flow and transfers, impressing the judges by utilizing all lines on the course. As a first time X Games medalist, he proudly showed off his hardware to the Texas-sized crowd. Drew Bezanson took home the silver, while Daniel Sandoval beat out defending X Games Park gold medalist Daniel Dhers for the bronze.
Stadium SUPER Trucks made its X Games debut in front of packed crowd, and despite Robby Gordon’s aggressive driving, he was ultimately thwarted by teenagers Apdaly Lopez and Sheldon Creed who pushed the legend to bronze medal position in the event. Ultimately, the top honor went to 19-year-old Lopez who became the first male from Mexico to win gold at X Games. Creed, 16, who has been racing professionally since 14, showcased his off-road racing skills and experience despite his young age.
The afternoon action continued over at Women’s Skateboard Street as the riders put together complex and creative runs through the course’s stairs, banks, and ledges. Defending gold medalist Leticia Bufoni, who won both X Games street events in 2013, skated well, but was unable to defend her gold and finished with a score of 86.33. The top podium spot went to Lacey Baker, who earned her first gold and seventh X Games medal with a score of 90.66. Coming in with the silver was 14-year-old Brazilian skater Pamela Rosa, who is fast becoming one of the stars of the women’s street skating with her clean style and diverse flip tricks.
Rounding out the last event of the weekend was the Monster Energy Men’s Skateboard Street finals where Nyjah Huston continued his domination by clinching his fifth Skateboard Street gold with calculated runs that included backside variations and 360 flips. Huston secured a 95.00 on his second and final run, earning a standing applause from the crowd. Brazil’s Luan Oliveira earned silver and X
Earlier during X Games, crowds packed the stands as RallyCross Lites took to the track as 16-year-old driver Mitchell DeJong secured the lead early on and maintained it throughout the final to capture his first X Games gold. Kevin Eriksson followed with the silver and Austin Cindric claimed the bronze.
The action moved over to the BMX Dirt competition where Australian Kyle Baldock, who won BMX Dirt gold at X Games Foz do Iguaçu 2013, claimed the top position in his first run that ended with an impressive bar spin back flip, awarding him a score of 92.33. Despite the lead, Baldock finished his third run with a massive front flip lawn dart that sealed his gold medal with a score 95.00. Ben Wallace placed second with a 90.33 performing several no-handed back flips, and Brandon Dosch went home with the bronze after showcasing perfect 720s and a triple whip.
During the Ford RallyCross, Scott Speed used his Formula 1 driving skills to hold first position the entire race, claiming his second X Games gold medal. Bucky Lasek, an X Games skateboard vert favorite and eight-time gold medalist clinched the silver – his first at an X Games rally event – bringing his count of X Games medals to 20, while Nelson Piquet Jr. won his first X Games medal, taking home the bronze.
At Skateboard Park, Pedro Barros became the second athlete in X Games history to earn at least seven consecutive gold or silver medals in the same discipline. Barros delivered a competition-best run that earned him gold with a score of 90.66, beating out X Games Munich 2013 Skateboard Park winner Curren Caples, who did not medal. Atlanta-based Grant Taylor earned his first X Games medal scoring 84.00 to earn the silver and Aaron Homoki took bronze.
As the sun set over Austin, a huge crowd gathered around the GoPro BMX Big Air competition. Texas native and crowd favorite Morgan Wade entertained the crowd and eventually won silver with a score of 89.66. Topping the competition was Salt Lake City native Colton Satterfield, who nailed a no-handed corked 720 over the gap to triple tailwhip on the quarterpipe for a score of 90.66 and captured the gold. James Foster scored 87.66 to earn the bronze, his first X Games medal.
Kacy Martinez from Sunol, Calif., claimed the lead early on in the Women’s Enduro X and maintained her winning position for most of the race, earning her first X Games gold. Sandra Gomez Cantero followed with the silver and 18-year-old Rachel Gutish finished with the bronze, excited to medal after making the trek from her hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana, to compete at the X Games instead of attending her high school graduation.
The men then took to the Enduro X course in a heated competition where many top athletes got hung up on the course’s tough rock terrain section. Taddy Blazusiak took the lead early in the race but Colton Haaker caught up quickly and the men raced nose to nose throughout most of lap nine until Haaker was thwarted by the rock garden and Cody Webb advanced to second position. Blazusiak maintained the lead in front of Webb and claimed his fourth Enduro X gold. Webb was close behind earning silver and Alfredo Gomez finished third.
Day two wrapped with huge crowds as America’s Navy Skateboard Big Air took center stage and five of the sports best athletes fought windy conditions to prove who could show the best style, creativity and amplitude on massive ramp. At just 14-years-old, Tom Schaar claimed his first-ever gold with the night’s most impressive run – a memorable 720 over the gap into a 900 on the quarterpipe – earning him a score of 89.00. As the second youngest gold medalist in X Games history, he beat out Big Air legend Bob Burnquist, who as most decorated X Games athlete in history with 27 total medals, added a silver to his collection with score of 88.00. Edgard Pereira rounded out the podium with a bronze-earning score of 87.00.
X Games resumes in Aspen next winter and back in Austin for the summer games 2015.