From now until late Sunday night, we're going to be in full Summer X Games 18 mode. More than 200 of the world's greatest action sports athletes have descended upon downtown Los Angeles for four days of incredible competition.
Naturally, Red Bull athletes will be represented in big numbers in all the major events, from the BMX Park to the MegaRamp to the RallyCross course. There's almost too much to keep track of, but we're doing our best. Here's who and what to look for.
Skateboarding Is Stacked
On the MegaRamp, all eyes will be on Tom Schaar, the 12-year-old wunderkind who, earlier this year, became the first skater ever to nail the elusive 1080. Schaar (photo below) repeated the feat at X Games Asia in Shanghai, so he’s not afraid to pull it out in the heat of competition. Will he try it again in the Big Air contest? We hope so.
Ryan Sheckler leads a team of top athletes in Skateboard Street, which he won in 2008 and 2010 (two of his three X Games gold medals). Other Red Bull skaters in Street will be Ryan Decenzo, who will also defend his 2011 title in Game of Sk8. Torey Pudwill was invited but will have to sit out due to injury.
Pedro Barros will try to continue his stellar season (which includes a huge win at the Pro-Tec Pool Party in May) in the Skateboard Vert and Park competitions, while fellow Brazilian Sandro Dias will compete in Park and Big Air.
Garrett Reynolds Joins Red Bull Family
Is there a better way to introduce a new Red Bull athlete than at the Summer X Games? Didn't think so. So meet Garrett Reynolds, the 21-year-old BMX rider from Toms River, New Jersey, who will join the Red Bull team as he tries to add to his trophy case. At the X Games, Garrett is going for his fifth straight gold medal in BMX Street. He recently told ESPN, "I'm not one of those dudes who trains. I just ride because I like it." It seems to work. Here’s some video of Garrett in action.
Ashley Fiolek Is Out
Following her recent appearance on “Conan,” motocross champion (and two-time X Games gold medalist) Ashley Fiolek announced Monday that she had not recovered enough from a concussion sustained June 3 at Lakewood to compete, and for the second straight year she’ll have to sit on the sidelines.
"Sorry everyone :( so bummed!" she tweeted shortly after the news broke. But fans who make it down to L.A. will still have a chance to meet Ashley during an autograph session Friday at 3:30 p.m.
Tarah Gieger, the 26-year-old motocross rider, will be the sole woman to represent Red Bull at the X Games. Gieger, who won gold in the Super X in 2008, will compete in Moto X Racing and Enduro.
Red Bull X-Fighters Fill Pastrana's Void
Hard to believe that Travis Pastrana will not race in the Moto X category at the X Games for the first time in 10 years. But while the 11-time X Games gold medalist will focus on four wheels this year, Moto X will not suffer for stars. Several riders of the Red Bull X-Fighters series will take a break from their grueling globe-hopping tour to compete in Los Angeles. They are led by Robbie Maddison, who won silver in the Best Trick contest in 2010 (photo below), Levi Sherwood, Ronnie Renner and Danny Torres. Kendall Norman and Taddy Blazusiak will compete in the Moto X Enduro.
Travis Leads Fierce RallyCross Field
Finally, Red Bull rally drivers will race in the most talented RallyCross field ever at the X Games. They'll be led by Travis Pastrana and his teammate Bryce Menzies, who will pilot 600-hp Dodge Darts.
While Travis has been rally racing for a decade -- including stints inside a World Rally Championship car -- Menzies, the 2011 SCORE Trophy Truck champion, just finished rally school this week. They'll be joined by two other Red Bull drivers: eight-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb, in a Citroen DS3 'XL' and rally racer and 2005 Formula Drift champion Rhys Millen, in a Hyundai Veloster.
Red Bull Athletes Competing at X Games 18
Plans are in constant flux, but we’ve put together a provisional list of Red Bull athletes competing at X Games, alphabetized for your pleasure.
|Geoff Aaron||Moto X Enduro|
|Pedro Barros||Skateboard Park / Vert|
|Drew Bezanson||BMX Park|
|Taddy Blazusiak||Moto X Enduro|
|Ryan Decenzo||Skateboard Street|
|Daniel Dhers||BMX Park|
|Sandro Dias||Skateboard Big Air / Skateboard Vert|
|Tarah Geiger||Moto X Enduro / Moto X Racing|
|Sebastian Keep||BMX Park|
|Robbie Maddison||Moto X Speed & Style|
|Anthony Napolitan||BMX Big Air|
|Kendal Norman||Moto X Enduro|
|Ronnie Renner||Moto X Step Up|
|Garrett Reynolds||BMX Street / Park|
|Kevin Robinson||BMX Big AirX|
|Tom Schaar||Skateboard Big Air|
|Ryan Sheckler||Skateboard Street|
|Levi Sherwood||Moto X Freestyle|
|Alex Sorgente||Skateboard Big Air|
|Danny Torres||Moto X Freestyle|
Follow Red Bull on Twitter for more news and updates.
For more eXtreme action:
- Keep an eye on the USA X Games site.
- Check out the X Games section on the ESPN site.
- Catch up on last year's X Games action.