Check out the best flips, tricks and slip-ups from the X Games’ 18 year history.
1) Colin McRae rolls into second place
In 2006, the X Games added a rally event to its roster of sports for the first time and lured 1995 WRC champ Colin McRae to Los Angeles to compete. Going up against the benchmark time set by Travis Pastrana in a similar Subaru Impreza, McRae roared into the stadium on his final lap looking set to claim gold. Going over the final jump, however, McRae rolled his car, dislodging the front spoiler, but landing on all four wheels. He set off again and crossed the line less than a second behind Pastrana’s time to claim silver and cement his legendary staus.
2) Mike Metzger doubles up on backflips
It all looks a bit quaint now, single backflips on a motocross bike. But it wasn't so long ago that people were saying that the trick simply couldn’t be done. Mike Metzger, aka ‘The Godfather’, thought different and at the 2002 X Games pulled a backflip, landing it perfectly and then, just to hammer home his point, pulling another one straight after.
3) Sebastien Loeb thrashes…everyone!
Rallying superstar Sebastien Loeb took some time out from his 2012 WRC season and winning his ninth world title, to pay a visit to the X Games in LA. Competing in the Rallycross event, a discipline the Frenchman had never tried before, he cruised his way to the final as his closest rival Travis Pastrana was ruled out of contention after a crash in his first heat. When the lights went green for the final race, Loeb avoided the first corner chaos and sailed into a lead that, by the end of the sixth and last lap, was around 10 seconds ahead of Ken Block. Nine world rally titles AND an X Games gold medal – it’s no wonder that, after Loeb’s win, a disappointed but generous Travis Pastrana said, “There’s no better driver on the face of the earth, in my opinion.”
4) Ronnie Renner steps up to Step Up
In 2012, Ronnie Renner found himself in a two-way fight with Matt Buyten in the Step Up competition – an event which is pretty much like pole-vaulting for motorbikes. Renner was chasing Buyten’s 2011 record of 37 feet and cleared it early on. But with Buyten chasing him all the way, Renner took gold with a record-breaking jump of 47 feet, 10 feet more than Buyten’s original record. Buyten himself just missed out on the gold with a jump of 46 feet, while even third-placed man Brian Deegan beat the 2011 record with a jump of 39 feet.
5) Travis Pastrana lands the first double backflip in competition
Travis Pastrana is synonymous with the X Games. Aged just 15 in 1999 Travis won the first of 11 X Games golds (and 17 medals overall!) while competing in FMX. In 2006 though, all the buzz was about whether Pastrana would attempt the first ever double backflip on a motorbike in competition. The crowd, including Pastrana’s mother Debby, were on their feet as he rolled into the ramp and shot into the air, flipping once and then repeating the rotation before making a perfect touch down and throwing the bike away in jubilation. “This is an awesome feeling,” said Pastrana. “It shouldn’t have worked and I hope I never do it again!”