PHOTO REVIEW: X Games 2018 Filled With Thrilling Wins By Youngsters

Summer X Games, the an annual event showcasing the best of the best in skateboard, BMX and motocross took place over the weekend at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. The weekend was encapsulated by exciting competitions, young athletes primed for taking the next step towards winning and debuts that left many excited for the future of action sports. The music lineup featured EDM acts Kaskade and Zedd along with legendary rapper, Ice Cube.

With inclement weather hitting during the mid-week, the schedule was slightly modified right from the start with Skateboard Vert moving to an early competition. The schedule change didn’t affect the competitors as Jimmy Wilkins has improved over the last three years, having taken third in 2016, second in 2017 and took the gold with runs of difficult tricks that included the stalefish-to-disaster. The BMX Vert Finals featured familiar names making the podium with Vince Byron beating out fellow Aussie Jamie Bestwick for his second gold in as many years, with Bestwick coming in second.

The first full day of competitions was highlighted by the world’s top amateur riders in the Next X Skateboard Street and Park Finals, where Liam Pace took the win on the Park course and Giovanni Vianna took the gold for Street. Garrett Reynolds has dominated the BMX Street contest for years, having only lost to Chad Kerley in 2013. This year was Kerley’s year as he dethroned nine-time champ Reynolds on his final run. The Moto competitions were highlighted by the QuarterPipe High Air Final, won by Axell Hodges, who took his first X Games gold, while, Tom Pages grabbed the top spot for Moto X Freestyle. The Big Air competitions are exciting in their own right for height and speed, with the BMX competition was won by James Foster.

Moto X Step Up kicked off the second full day as Jarryd McNeil faced stiff competition this year from Libor Podmol and Colby Raha. Although all riders cleared the 41-foot mark, the bar was raised to 43 feet, where McNeil took the gold for the third straight year. McNeil would also go on to win his 11th X games medal, taking Moto X Best Whip, beating out Genki Wantanabi and Axell Hodges. The skateboard competitions were highlighted by the younger athletes who were no more than 21 years old- 20 year old Alex Sorgente won his second consecutive gold for Men’s Skateboard Park, 21 year old Mariah Duran won her first gold medal for Women’s Skateboard Park, who beat out 16 year old Aori Nishimura, who was last year’s winner.
The Skateboard Big Air Finals are clearly in the hands of a next generation of talented young athletes, including those who made their debuts from 11-14 years old- 21 year old Mitchie Brusco took the gold, 17 year old Trey Wood won bronze and 21 year old Clay Kreiner took the silver.

The Men’s Skateboard Street Final is a fan favorite and highlighted the final day of X Games as competition was stiff early on with great runs by Jagger Eaton, Yuto Horigame and Kelvin Hoefler. It took a run or two for Nyjah Huston to hit his stride, as he took the gold after a run highlighted by a nollie heelflip noseblunt slide, whereas, Eaton took the silver medal and Hoefler took bronze. Brighton Zeuner dominated the Women’s Skateboard Park Final for the second year in a row, taking the gold, as she beat out rookie Sabre Norris, who took second place and Sakura Yosozumi took bronze with a score of 82.33. The final competition of the event featured two long-time friends and competitors in BMX Park in Australians Logan Martin and Kyle Baldock, as the former finally got his first X Games gold and Baldock earning bronze.