The Summer X Games 17 are in the books. Lots of big moments, new tricks, awesome performances and more than a few heart-stopping injuries. The ladies only participated in three events this year but they came to win and put on a great show. Whether or not you know a whip from a flip or a rail from a grind, hopefully you can appreciate the athleticism, artistry, and guts necessary to be an X Games competitor.
Women’s Skateboard Street
The X-Games were built around the sport of skateboarding (though women weren’t allowed to compete until 2003). Friday was the Women’s Skateboard contest. There was no vert competition this year so the ladies could only skate the street course.
Marisa Dal Santo rode to her third Skateboard Street gold medal (she also won in 2007 and 2009) beating out defending champ Alexis Sablone and 2010’s silver medalist Leticia Bufoni for the win.
This year’s course looked like a Hollywood movie set. Competitors could scrape across the edge of a garbage dumpster or jump a construction site complete with I-beam, cones, banks and gaps. Full of innovative lines and new challenges integrating loading docks, school trailers and thousands of pounds of wood, cement, and dirt , the course featured such details as steaming manhole covers and and a mechanics bay.
Sablone got the biggest trick of the day, landing kickflip to 50-50 grind down the hubba ledge in two separate runs, but couldn’t put it together to get the winning run. Final score: Dal Santo 88.00, Sablone 84.33, Bufoni 78.00.
Women’s Moto-X Racing
Seeing the Staples Center transformed into a huge dirt track with 20-foot hills and various obstacles was a trip. I’m more used to seeing the Lakers and/or Sparks purple and yellow floor so the switch from basketball players running the bright, shiny court to moto riders revving their bikes was a bit jarring. Plus watching these athletes ride somehow makes a basketball dunk not seem so daring.
In a surprise twist, two-time defending champion Ashley Fiolek (@ashleyfiolek67) crashed hard and was knocked unconscious during a Saturday practice run dashing her hopes for a three-peat. Despite suffering a concussion the 20-year-old still begged doctors, her parents and team managers to let her to compete. When they made the call she was out of this year’s game, Ashley took to twitter to apologize to her followers.
Fiolek is a fan-favorite, well-known not just for her success on and off the track. She was born deaf and relies on her bike vibrations and shadows as she races.
In another stroke of bad luck, Fiolek’s longtime rival Jessica Patterson (@JPMoney_250), an accomplished rider and obvious frontrunner, crashed in the next-to-last lap of the elimination round and failed to qualify for the final.
Winner Vicki Golden took advantage of the field and her Arenacross experience to dominate the event, beating out 2010 silver medalist Tarah Gieger and French rider Livia Lancelot for the top podium spot. Sara Price missed the podium in fourth place, after an early crash in the first lap. Golden led from start to finish, taking the gold by more than four seconds to earn her first X Games medal.
Women’s Moto-X Enduro
X Games 17 saw its first Moto X Enduro event this year. Maria Forsberg claimed her first gold medal after a grueling session over a difficult course filled with a variety of obstacles. Moto riders need all the skills they can muster and the seven-rider field proved women have every bit what it takes to stay consistent and navigate the obstacles.
After six laps on the Enduro course, the winner is the last one standing (or sitting) on her bike. Forsberg took the title, but not before fans witnessed more than a dozen crashes around the course. Moto-racer silver medalist Tarah Gieger took a tumble down the entrance ramp and fell into an obstacle before she even touched the dirt track. She managed to bounce back however taking her second silver of X Games 17. Kacy Martinez also benefited from the many crashes and chaos to round out the podium in third. Full results
The X Fest fan area featured sponsor and industry booths, live music and a bazillion giveaways as well as autograph signing sessions with all sorts of athletes. gro teamed up with organizers again this year to hold “Girls Day” complete with BMX and skate clinics for girls as well as the chance to meet some of the athletes. Olympic champion Lolo Jones was on hand to sign autographs as well as BMX riders Angie Marino, Nina Buitrago, Mini Park, Peta Shepard and Camila Harambour, skateboarders Rachel Reinhard, Candy Jacobs, Alysha Bergado, Justyce Tabor and moto athletes Vicki Golden, Maria Forsberg, Ashley Fiolek and Livia Lancelot .
Looking forward to next summer and XG18.