X- Games

High flying action; Breath taking maneuvers, something new every time! That, my friend, is what I call, “X Games”. A craze amongst thrill seeking teens, this American born sporting event includes games like skateboarding, snowmobile racing, and free style stunt s in Bikes and Motorbikes. X games is all about performing innovative tricks with maximum accuracy. There are generally no races except for one in snowmobile and motorbike category each. Held in huge open stadiums, X games has a little bit of everything; speed, skill, agility, power and lot of common sense.

This annual sport feature is controlled and arranged by ESPN and the inaugural X games were conducted in summer of 1995 in Rhode Island, USA. There are 2 editions of the X games, the Winter X games (conducted in the month of January or February)and the Summer X games (Held in the month of August) both conducted in USA where it predominantly followed though there are demos in international arenas at different times of the year and its popularity has been steadily rising. To support the same, X games have been hugely televised and have viewers from over 200 countries

It is the energy of these games which impresses me the most, coupled with the entertaining music and screaming crowds, it’s like your high on adrenaline. For Instance, in skateboarding, players dive into ramps, speed up to gain height and perform trips in mid-air with skateboards and bodies. Players attempt to perform tricks like rail riding, front flip, back flip; 360, 720 and 900 degree turn and many more. The player who manages to perform most variety of tricks with highest precision in the stipulated time achieves the highest ratings and is declared the winner; similarly tricks are performed with bi-cycles and motorbikes. The bigger they get the more power they have, the more power they have, the bigger the air they get, the bigger the air. Well, you can guess what happens after that.

High action games always attract high-profile injuries, Call me sick but this one was an example of why I love this game so much. The worst accident in X games history involved Jake Brown who fell from over 40 feet in the air and landed on his back. The force of the fall knocked his shoes off. After lying motionless for 8 minutes, he walked away with some help. Doctors declared a fractured wrist, bruised lung and liver, whiplash, ruptured spleen, and a concussion. Not Bad. Just one question, How did you manage to walk away alive Jake???

On a lighter note (a musical note actually) DJ’s often play exciting music when every athlete performs his routine which gives that magic touch to the event; and the “X Fest” which involves musical performances and interactive games to entertain the crowd is a crowd puller highlight. X Games have a huge gaming fan base (for the physically inadequate I guess) which is very popular.

I don’t claim to know and watch all events but a few events I am keen on and know few players in are skateboarding and motor biking. In skateboarding, tony hawk is my personal favorite. I personally credit Tony Hawk to have given the X games a “X”treme launch worldwide where his tricks and breath-taking stunts awed the audience and they loved every bit of it. In this event, the “900” is a special trick, a clean 2.5 revolution on a skateboard and only 5 times in the history of the game has the “900” been successfully done; Tony Hawk is only person to do it twice, that’s some talent alright.  Tony Hawk is what David Beckham is to Football. Not the best but the most famous.

In the free style Motorbike trick event, Travis Pastrana is my hero! A legend in his own right, Travis has consistently given the audience a range of first time stunts and also won judge points and events. Seeing him defeat Colin McRae, the world rally champion by 0.52 of a second in the last corner of the race was the best race the X games had produced.

I really hope we in India get a piece of this action, it’s a new game with almost zero presence in India but knowing how quickly we catch up with the west, I think the day isn’t far when we have our own annual X game event. Let’s wait and watch.

Mayank Solanki

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