Extreme Exposure: Highlights from an action-packed X Games in Austin
Welcome to Extreme Exposure, a weekly column bringing you the best photography and news from the world of action and outdoor sports. In this week's column, it's all about the X Games takeover in Austin, Texas, producing some of the best performances in a number of different disciplines in BMX, skate, moto and RallyCar racing. Here's a look back at some of the key moments of the weekend.
On the final day, nearly 137,000 people braved the scorching heat of Austin, Texas to watch the X Games takeover Circuit of the Americas. And it’s easy to see why. Metallica, Rusty Wallace, Bob Burnquist, Nyjah Huston. The stars showed up for the final day on the biggest of stages as this year’s action sports summer showcase hit its crescendo.
Old School vs. New School
NASCAR Winston Cup Champion and Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace is 58. Sheldon Creed is 17. Both added to the allure of Off Road Truck Racing at X Games Austin. Wallace because of his storied career. Creed by racing fearlessly for such a young driver while capturing the gold medal. Wallace rolled his truck and was able to keep racing but failed to make the finals while Creed held off versatile 46-year-old driver Robby Gordon and Arie Luyendyk to take the win.
Let’s Do it Together
Hometown hero Morgan Wade of Tyler, Texas was a favorite for Big Air gold, but he had to settle for second after Colton Satterfield’s historic night. Instead, Wade got his gold competing alongside an absolute legend in Bob Burnquist in Big Air doubles. Not a bad second choice. It was Burnquist’s third medal of the X Games and second gold overall.
Still the One
At merely 20 years old, Nyjah Huston's dominance in X Games Street is unprecedented. His win Sunday gave him a total of seven X Games golds. The kid basically competes against himself on the street course: he makes it look so easy he has to do something spectacular to get a winning score from the judges. On his second run, he punctuated his victory with a cab back smith and a silky smooth kickflip to railgrind. Chaz Ortiz finished with silver, just ten points back of Huston. Clearly, Huston knows how to go for the jugular as his strangle hold on competitive street skating continues.
Gold is Good
Tom Pagès had a serious advantage in the Moto X Quarterpipe. It’s his event, one he helped bring to the X Games for the first time this year. But he still had to throw down—which he did, landing a backflip to seal his first gold medal. The Frenchman was the first to throw a backflip in competition last year.
Whip it Real Good
Taking his first gold medal in five tries, Australian Jarred McNeill won Moto X Best Whip where the riders hit a kicker and bring their tail around nearly 180 degrees and back, oftentimes inverted. During the competition, the television audience votes on its favorite to decide the winner.
Can I Just Get One?
Check out the hashtag #BobBurnquist on Instagram and you’ll get a whole lot of this: people wanting to get their pictures taken with the icon. Old people, young people, couples, women, men. Needless to say, the dude is simply transcendent.
From Minaj to Metallica
While their styles couldn’t be more different, Nicki Minaj and Metallica rocked the X Games crowd at Circuit of the Americas just the same. Their differences represented the diverse backgrounds of X Games athletes from moto heads to street skaters. And during four days each summer, these divergent forms of modern athletic expression are in essence, one.