X Games

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X Games
X Games logo.svg
SportExtreme sports
Official websiteXGames.com
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X Games
X Games logo.svg
SportExtreme sports
Official websiteXGames.com

The X Games is a pseudo-sports event, controlled and arranged by the U.S. sports broadcaster ESPN (with coverage also shown on its sister network ABC), which focuses on extreme sports. The inaugural X Games were held in summer 1995 in Rhode Island. Participants compete to win bronze, silver and gold medals, and prize money.

The competition often features new tricks such as Tony Hawk's 900 in skateboarding, Travis Pastrana's double backflip in freestyle motocross, Heath Frisby's first ever snowmobile front flip in Snowmobile Best Trick, and Torstein Horgmo's first landed triple flip in a snowboard competition. Concurrent with competition is the "X Fest" sports and music festival, which offers live music, athlete autograph sessions and interactive elements.


Variation of X Games logo, used for Winter X Games

The X Games gained media exposure due to their big name sponsors, top-tier athletes and consistent fan attendance. As the Journal of Sport Management (2006) explains, Generation X and Generation Y are the two demographics most highly valued by marketers. This creates a broad approach on marketing towards that certain demographic, which is why the X Games marketing and economic outlook is so “out of the box.” According to ESPN (2008); The Winter X Games inaugural year, 1997, was televised to 198 countries and 38,000 spectators attended the four day event. In 1998, the attendance dropped to 25,000 spectators. But just two years later, a record attendance of 83,500 people attended the Winter X Games' East Coast debut. The X Games and Winter X Games continue to grow with the popularity of action sports and the athletes who compete in them.

The Interactive Village is described by ESPN (2008) as the designated X Games Sponsor Booth area. It is usually located by the main entrance of the event and it offers activities for attending fans. Activities include scheduled autograph signings, giveaways for spectators, athlete demos, climbing walls, video game experiences, and the chance to try new and upcoming products that are presented by sponsors. This area exists at both the X Games and Winter X Games.

The Snowskate Park is an actual layout provided by the Winter X Games sponsors in order to provide real-life interaction for all spectators. The Snowskate Park posts a schedule so that fans can enter the park in order to “play” around or show off their skills. The schedule usually includes: open park for the public, invitational practices, special kids' events, experienced snowskate sessions, and competitive sledding.

As part of the X Games, there have been performances by various rock bands over the years, as well as a DJ being on-site at all events.

The X Games have made it a point since its founding to stage an eco-friendly event. Such measures include using biodiesel fuel in their vehicles and organizing recycling campaigns.[citation needed]

Winter X Games[edit]

Winter X Games VIII in 2002 was the first time that an X Games event was televised live and also had coverage by ESPN's flagship news program, SportsCenter. Viewership across the three networks that carried coverage of the event – ABC Sports, ESPN and ESPN2 – exceeded last year's household average by 30% according to Nielsen Media Research. The event also reached record highs in several demographic categories. To accommodate the first-time live coverage, nighttime competitions were added, resulting in record attendance for the Aspen/Snowmass venue.

The 2002 Winter X Games were a huge year for ESPN and the X Games. It was the first year that the games were held in Aspen Colorado at Buttermilk Mountain. The Games continued to add new events including the ski slopestyle event and the ski superpipe event. The most memorable incident of the 2002 Games was when the entire 2002 U.S. Olympic freestyle snowboarding team showed up to compete in the Winter X snowboard superpipe event, just weeks before the Salt Lake City Olympics. Also in 2002, ESPN announced the establishment of the X Games Global Championship. The Global Championship featured two distinct venues hosting competitions in summer and winter action sports simultaneously. It consisted of six teams of the World’s top athletes, grouped together by their region of origin, to compete in the four day event. The winter sports were held in Whistler Blackcomb Resort in British Columbia, and the events included snowboarding and skiing.

The Winter X Games are held in January or February (usually in January) and the Summer X Games are usually held in August, both in the United States. The location of the Winter X Games is in Aspen, Colorado through 2019, while the location for the Summer X Games has been in Los Angeles, changing to Austin in June 2014. The X Games also has international competitions and demos around the world that are held at varying times throughout the year. The games are shown live on television.

The Winter X Games are, as described by ESPN (2008), a competition compiled of the greatest winter action sport athletes from around the world competing on an annual basis. The competition has day and evening events including skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. The first Winter X Games took place at Mountain Resort in Big Bear Lake, California, in 1997. The following two years, the Games were held at Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado. The two years following that, the Games were held in Mount Snow, Vermont. Since 2002, the Winter X Games have been held at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colorado, and according to ESPN they will continue to be held there until 2019.

Global expansion[edit]

X Games Asia have been held annually since 1998. Since 2010 Winter X Games Europe have been held in Tignes, France.

In May 2011, ESPN held a bid to select three host cities in addition to Los Angeles, Aspen and Tignes, to form a six-event calendar for the next three years beginning in 2013.[1] In May 2012, the selected cities were announced: Barcelona, Spain; Munich, Germany; and Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil.[2] The two European cities have hosted Summer Olympics in the past, whereas Brazil has provided several X Games competitors.[3] ESPN, despite previous plans for a three-year run, opted to cancel the global expansion after 2013.[4][5]


Current Summer[edit]

Moto X
  • Moto X Speed & Style
  • Moto X Best Whip
  • Moto X Freestyle
  • Moto X Endurocross
  • Moto X Super Moto
  • Women's Moto X Endurocross
  • Moto X Step Up
  • Moto X Adaptive Racing
  • Moto X Racing
  • Women's Moto X Racing
Mountain Bike
  • Mountain Bike Slopestyle
Rally Car
  • Rallycross Lites
  • Rallycross SuperCar
  • Gymkhana Grid
  • Skateboard vert
  • Skateboard Park
  • Women's Skateboard Park
  • Street League Skateboarding
  • SLS Select Series
  • Women's Skateboard Street
  • Skateboard Big Air
  • BMX vert
  • BMX Park
  • BMX Street
  • BMX Big Air
Real Video Series
  • Real Surf
  • Real Women
  • Real Street
  • Real Snow Backcountry
Red Bull Phenom
  • Mountain Bike Slopestyle
  • Skateboard Street
  • BMX Street

Current Winter[edit]

  • Ski Big Air
  • Ski Slopestyle
  • Women's Ski Slopestyle
  • Ski Superpipe
  • Women's Ski Superpipe
  • Snowboard Big Air
  • Snowboard Slopestyle
  • Women's Snowboard Slopestyle
  • Snowboard Superpipe
  • Women's Snowboard Superpipe
  • Men's Snowboard X
  • Women's Snowboard X
  • Snowmobile Freestyle
  • Snowmobile Speed & Style
  • Snowcross
  • Snowcross Adaptive
Real Video Series
  • Real Snow
  • Real Ski Backcountry

Past Summer[edit]

  • BMX Flatland
  • BMX Downhill
  • BMX Vert Doubles
  • BMX Vert Best Trick
  • Skateboard Big Air Rail Jam
  • Downhill Skateboarding
  • Skateboard Vert Doubles
  • Women's Skateboard Vert
  • Skateboard Vert Best Trick
  • Skateboard Game of SK8

Past Winter[edit]


Brian Deegan at X Games 17 in Los Angeles competing in the Moto X Step Up event.

Summarized from EXPN.com[6]

Summer X Games[edit]

Winter X Games[edit]


1995United States Newport, Rhode IslandUnited States Stowe, Vermont
1996United States Newport, Rhode IslandUnited States Stowe
1997United States San DiegoUnited States Big Bear Lake, California
1998United States San DiegoUnited States Crested Butte, ColoradoThailand Phuket
1999United States San FranciscoUnited States Crested ButteThailand Phuket
2000United States San FranciscoUnited States Mount Snow, VermontThailand Phuket
2001United States PhiladelphiaUnited States Mount SnowThailand Phuket
2002United States PhiladelphiaUnited States AspenMalaysia Kuala Lumpur
2003United States Los AngelesUnited States AspenMalaysia Kuala Lumpur
2004United States Los AngelesUnited States AspenMalaysia Kuala Lumpur
2005United States Los AngelesUnited States AspenSouth Korea Seoul
2006United States Los AngelesUnited States AspenMalaysia Kuala Lumpur
2007United States Los AngelesUnited States AspenChina Shanghai
2008United States Los AngelesUnited States AspenChina Shanghai
2009United States Los AngelesUnited States AspenChina Shanghai
2010United States Los AngelesUnited States AspenChina ShanghaiFrance Tignes
2011United States Los AngelesUnited States AspenChina ShanghaiFrance Tignes
2012United States Los AngelesUnited States AspenChina ShanghaiFrance Tignes
2013United States Los AngelesUnited States AspenChina ShanghaiFrance TignesFoz do Iguaçu, BrazilBarcelona, SpainMunich, Germany
2014United States Austin, TexasUnited States Aspen

Global Championships[edit]

From May 16 to May 18, 2003, the X Games held a special event called the Global Championships, where five continents (two countries in North America) competed in 11 disciplines. The event was held in two locations, the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas (where 7 of the events, including in-line skating, skateboarding, BMX and freestyle motocross were held), as well as in Whistler, British Columbia (where the superpipe events for snowboarding and skiing took place).

The final team results were:

PositionTeam/ContinentOverall points
6South America70


External links[edit]