Day Two: X Games at US Bank Stadium

Day two of X Games Minneapolis saw a crowd of 32,000 enthusiastic fans gather at U.S. Bank Stadium to watch the world’s premier action sports athletes battle it out for X Games gold. Action included the BMX Street Final, Women’s Skate Street Final, The Real Cost BMX Big Air and the crowd favorite, Pacifico Moto X Freestyle Final.

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Skateboarder Alec Majerus from Rochester, MN  photo by Marilyn Indahl

 

Following an afternoon of skateboard and BMX Qualifiers, the BMX Street Finals kicked off the evening’s competitions. Once again it was the unstoppable Garrett Reynolds who took the top spot, winning his 9th gold medal in the event. Making quick work of the street course, Reynolds landed a succession of tricks including an opposite tail whip followed by another huge tail whip over the Viking ship before finishing with a double truck diver up the hip, scoring a 89.33 on his first run. Devon Smillie meanwhile put in a valiant effort bringing out technical tricks like a cab 540 out of a double peg grind to 180 earning the 28-year-old his first silver with a score of 87.00. Rounding out the podium was Italy’s Simone Baracco who grabbed a bronze with a score of 85.66.

On the same course the ladies continued the action as crowds packed in to watch the Women’s Skateboard Street Finals. Amidst an international field it was 15-year-old Aori Nishimura from Japan who, on her first attempt, put together a run that would not be topped. Starting off with a crooked grind down the 8-stair rail, Nishimua continued with a stylish feeble grind on the Viking ship, a textbook frontside lipslide on the flat rail and backside lipslide on the big down rail. It was enough to bump Riverside, California’s Samarria Brevard into second for the young rider’s first X Games medal. Brazil’s Leticia Bufoni put in a strong final attempt and landed in third despite a crash on her powerful run. With the win Nishisimura became the first female Japanese skateboarder to win gold at X Games – this, after yesterday’s victory by Moto Shibata in Men’s Vert who likewise, accomplished the same feat for the men.

As the sun began to set, the men took to the Big Air ramp for The Real Cost BMX Big Air Final. Taking the gold was California’s James Foster, who after two tough falls sent the crown into a frenzy with his winning run which consisted of a backflip triple whip followed by a 17-foot 10-inch bar spin downside triple tailwhip on the 27-foot quarterpipe. This run scored 94.33, enough to beat BMX Vert gold medalist Vince Byron’s final run score of 92.33. Kurtis Downs took third with an 88.33. This was Foster’s first gold in the discipline, previously taking bronze in his two prior attempts.

Wrapping up the night was the Pacifico Moto X Freestyle Finals where Levi Sherwood rode away with his first gold medal. In a run highlighted by three double backflips including a no-hander to cap it off, the Australian’s daring riding stood apart from the rest of the field earning a score of 92.33. It’s been a long time coming for Sherwood who has been competing in the X Games since 2010 when he was just a teenager. Last years champ Josh Sheehan climbed to second on his final run scoring a 90.66 while fellow Aussie Clinton Moore took Bronze with a 90.00

With adrenaline still high, crowd’s then moved outside to the Commons stage to enjoy indie rockers A Day to Remember play a blistering set to end the action filled day.

Action continues on Saturday with the weekend’s busiest day of competition including finals for the Toyota Men’s BMX Park, Lifeproof Moto X Step Up, Women’s Skateboard Park, Moto X Best Whip, Monster Energy Moto X Best Trick, and finally, the Monster Energy Men’s Skateboard Street competition.

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