by PATRICK ROBERTSON Staff Writer
The X Games are back and better than ever. This year, the X Games are going on a worldwide circuit for the Summer X Games, starting in the US. This X Games in Barcelona was full of awards and broken records.
The first medal was won by Bucky Lasek winning the gold in the Skateboard Vert Final. The public attending the Piscina Municipal de Salts have seen how the leading contender, Lasek, has repeated gold with a score of 88.745 in a thrilling final.
One of the first and most impressive records that was set was Garrett Reynolds having a six-peat gold medal performance. That means that Reynolds has won six gold medals six years in a row.
Reynolds’ win puts him in the elite X Games six-peat club, which also includes snowboarder Shaun White, SnoCross racer Tucker Hibbert and the Skateboard Vert Doubles team of Tony Hawk and Andy Macdonald.
Freshman Cameron Browne said, “Garrett Reynolds is now an elite member of the X Games athletes. Six gold medals in a row is a truly impressive achievement and deserves respect.”
Just when you think you have seen the most absolutely outlandish, extreme event there is at the X Games, along comes Moto X Step Up.
For those unfamiliar with the discipline, Step Up is like pole vault with motorbikes, except after pole-vaulters clear their bar, they at least fall into several feet of deep foam padding that adequately cushions the impact.
Step Up competitors must race their bikes up a 16-foot-high, 77-degree takeoff hill, clear the bar many feet above that and then land safely (well, hopefully safely) after dropping all the way down to the ground.
Gold medalist Ronnie Renner said he does think about the downside. “It sucks,” he said. “You have about one second to think about that. I’m just thinking about getting over that bar. I don’t think about the landing. This is the one I put on the line for my career, but I don’t think about it. I know I have to land on my wheels.”
Renner won this event by a one foot difference over his rival, Josh Hansen.
Hansen also thinks that the landing on this event is dangerous: “It is a hard landing. It’s gnarly, but these are the X Games and we’re extreme athletes. This is what they expect from us, and this is the show we give them, so it worked out well.”
Another exciting event that took place was the Skateboard Park. Pedro Barros claimed the first three-peat in Skateboard Park history, fending off a stacked field of breakout concrete park riders and two-time gold medalist Rune Glifberg at X Games Barcelona.
Freshman Noah Price said, “I have been following the X Games all year and Barros is one of the most talented athletes I have seen.”
So what does everyone think, who is the most talented athlete in the X Games this year? Do you think there is a standout performer?