X Games organizers created a BMX Park trick contest to honor the memory of extreme sports legend Dave Mirra.
And it was Aussie Kyle Baldock who won the gold medal. It was Baldock’s fifth X Games career gold.
Mirra, who was only 41, committed suicide in February. He retired in 2011 with 24 X Games medals, which at the time was the most ever won by an extreme sports athlete. The mark since was surpassed by Bob Burnquist.
It’s since been determined that Mirra had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a brain disease caused by head trauma. His brain was studied by neuropathologists at the University of Toronto and the Canadian Concussion Center.
Check out some of Baldock’s moves on the park course at Circuit of the Americas:
Josh Sheehan won gold in Moto X Freestyle with a score of 93.33.
“This is surreal,” Sheehan said. “It’s been a hectic month of training. I’m just so happy, I’m so stoked.”
Rob Adelberg took sedon with a 91.66, while Clinton Moore took third with a 91. Taka Higashino also posted a 91, but Moore took bronze since he had a slightly higher score — 91 to 90.66 — on his first run.
Jarryd McNeil and Libor Podmol shared the first gold medal of the 2016 X Games. McNeil and Podmol each cleared the bar at 33 feet in Moto X Step Up — essentially a high-jump competition on motorcycles — while Massimo Bianconcini took bronze after clearing 32 feet.
The three medalists locked up a top-three position after the rest of the eight-man field bowed out at 30 feet or lower.
“It’s great to win and start off like this,” McNeil said in a post-podium interview. “I knew what he (Podmol) was going to be capable of so I had to be ready.”
Motox X Step was one of two kick-off events Thursday, and both were held at the dirt track about a mile away from Circuit of the Americas. Shuttles were setup to take spectators to the dirt track, which was built last year for flat-track racing.
In Flat-Track won the gold with a time of 6:35.907. Kenny Coolbeth Jr. was the silver medalist, while Brad Baker claimed bronze.
It stayed dry Thursday, but the schedule was slightly altered with storms set to role into the area later. The last chance qualifier in Flat-Track was cancelled to quicken the schedule, while Thursday’s planned concert by Reverend Horton Heat was cancelled due to track conditions.
Celebrating it’s third and final year in Austin, the X Games didn’t have a downtown kick-off event like years past. The two events Thursday were well-attended at the smaller venue, but lacked the buzz of the 2014 and 2015 events that took place downtown.
Tonight’s the night. X-Games 2016 kicks off in Austin for the third year in a row, starting at 7:30 p.m. and airing on ESPN. This year, we’re all eagerly awaiting to see our favorite athletes, Blink-182 and the return of Twiggy, the water-skiing squirrel. But for now, get yourself pumped up by reliving X-Games 2015 with this roundup of videos.
Best of X-Games 2015. Set to Austin band Sip Sip’s performance at Circuit of the Americas, this video recaps all the best moments from last year’s event, complete with flips, tricks and shots of Twiggy.
Female street skateboarders. If anyone ever tells you “you skate like a girl” and thinks it’s insult, just show them clips of the female street skateboarders from X-Games 2015. These women will skate your face off.
Austin BMX rider Chase Hawk. The Austinite received his first BMX bike when he was 7 years old. Now, he’s the city’s most well-known X-Games athlete and won his first gold medal at least year’s competition.
X-Games fan experience. The X-Games aren’t just about watching pros skateboard and snowboard — they’re also about having your own fun like these fans who went go-kart racing.
Extreme styles at X-Games 2015. Wondering what to wear at this year’s event? Take some notes from the past participants and attendees who sported a variety of styles.