The Summer X Games is an annual extreme sports event, controlled and arranged by American sports broadcaster ESPN. The latest X Games, held in June 2014 in Austin, Texas, featured motocross, skateboarding, BMX, rallycross and Stadium SUPER Trucks events, with participants competing to win gold, silver and bronze medals as well as prize money.
The inaugural X Games were held in the summer of 1995 in Newport, Rhode Island, and BMX events since then have included Flatland, Downhill, Vert Doubles and Vert Best Trick contests. However, by 2014, the Games had settled on a fairly regular BMX programme featuring Vert, Park, Street, Big Air and Dirt contests, plus Street in the Red Bull Phenom video contest, open to aspiring athletes aged 15-19.
BMX highlights over the years have included Dave Mirra’s double backflip in the Park contest in 2000, the first time the trick had ever been landed in competition, Mat Hoffman’s no handed 900-degree spin in 2002, and Jamie Bestwick’s first-ever double tailwhip flair in the Vert Best Trick event of 2005. Bestwick is one of the most successful X Games athletes of all time, winning his ninth consecutive gold medal in vert in 2014, and twelfth overall.
Other big winners in 2014 included Garrett Reynolds in Street, Kyle Baldock in Dirt, and Colton Satterfield in Big Air. Final BMX event of the weekend was the Park final, which was won for the first time by Chase Hawk, with Drew Bezanson and Daniel Sandoval making up the rest of the podium places.