In this week's edition of Extreme Exposure—a weekly column featuring news and photography from the world of action and outdoor sports—Crankworx gets underway in Whistler.
BMX Rider Kevin Robinson’s World Record Latest In Confusing Coverage from X Games
In a stunt that seemingly lit up Providence, R.I., this week, 44-year-old BMX cyclist Kevin Robinson set a world record with the longest motor assisted backflip at 84 feet in front of his hometown crowd. If you were like me, you probably had no clue such a record even existed. Robinson is a longtime BMX rider who started his X Games career in 1995 and has four X Games golds to his name. He’s an innovative and talented rider who has pulled off some seriously-progressive tricks during the course of his career (like a double flair in 2006).
On his first attempt, after being towed at the jump by a motorcycle, he ate it pretty hard when he landed on the tabletop in front of the transition. The medics actually brought out a gurney. But he waved them off and went for a second attempt and stuck it. Out came the Guinness official to stamp the record.
“K-Rob Flips Providence,” as the event was tagged, is the latest in a somewhat confusing pattern of event production, and subsequent coverage, from the X Games franchise. The once a well-rounded media entity that robustly covered all realms of alternative sport has now been cut back to X Games events rollouts, the X Games Real Series and then special stunts like Robinson’s (the X Games network hosted skier Tom Wallisch’s world record rail slide last winter). While these stunts are somewhat interesting, it’s hard not to wonder if they hit viewers too randomly while lacking enough context to make a real impact in the respective sports. Are the significant resources used to pull them off better used to tell real stories that help viewers better understand these past times and the often-compelling athletes pursuing them?
Crankworx is On in Whistler All Week
One of the preeminent events in the sport of mountain biking kicked off this weekend as Crankworx will host a series of envelope-pushing competitions all week long in Whistler, Canada. Dual Speed and Style was one of the most eye-popping contests of the weekend. The event pits two riders against each other, testing speed and style in a series of jump features. They have to beat the clock but are rewarded for airs. Slopestyle specialist Tomas Genon won the uber-progressive event, the newest contest in the Crankworx portfolio. Here’s the webcast schedule from Whistler.
Base Jumper Who Disappeared in Canada Identified
A BASE jumper who jumped from Ha Ling Peak near Canmore, Alberta, went missing for several days and was identified last week. Cameron Minni, 34, was described as “exceptionally talented” by members of the local BASE jumping community and had completed jumps off Malaysia’s Kuala Lampur Tower and different locales in Europe. Ha Ling is a legal place to BASE jump, which attracts many BASE pilots to the region. Another jumper was rescued there earlier in the spring.