The X Games are the pinnacle of extreme sports and the best place to watch legendary skateboarders, BMXers, skiers, snowboarders, and other pros in action.
What Are the X Games?
The X Games is like the Olympics for extreme sports. It is hosted in major cities, covers many different sports, and welcomes the best athletes from all over the world. It also hands out Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals and hosts both a Summer Games (usually held in August) and a Winter Games (staged in January or February).
What are the Summer X Games Sports?
The sports included in the summer events are:
- Flat Track
- Moto X
- BMX Freestyle
- Real Video Series (more info below)
Previous events have included:
- Rally Car Racing
- Mountain Bike Trials
- Aggressive In-Line Skating
- Street Luge
- Bungee Jumping
- Waterski Jumping
eSports have also started to make an appearance at the Summer X Games, including first-person shooter titles like Call of Duty and Counter Strike: Global Offensive, as well as Rocket League.
As far as the actual events are concerned, skateboarding is arguably the biggest of all the summer X Games events, as well as one of the most-watched X Games.
What are the Winter X Games Sports?
The Winter X Games is all about action sports on the slopes and the main winter events include:
- Real Video Series (more info below)
Previous winter sports have included:
- Snow Mountain Bike Racing
- Ice Climbing
What is the Real Video Series?
The X Games Real Video Series is included in both the Winter and Summer Games. It combines high-level action sports with professional filmmaking by inviting athletes to produce their best short videos based on specific sports.
The Hosts of the Summer Games and Winter Games
The X Games are often held in the United States every year, but there are occasionally international events held in Asia, Europe, Oceania, and Latin America.
The first Summer X Games was held in Rhode Island, followed by a Winter X Games in Vermont.
The first international event was held in Phuket, Thailand, in 1998. Phuket actually staged the Asia Summer X Games for four consecutive years before handing over the reins to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). Shanghai (China) has also staged many iterations of this event while others have been held in Tignes (France), Mexico City (Mexico), Oslo (Norway), and Sydney (Australia).
In the United States, the most frequent host of the Summer X Games is the city of Los Angeles, which staged the event every year from 2003 to 2013. As for the Winter X Games, the town of Aspen in Colorado has hosted the most events, organizing every single Winter Games since 2002.
Is the X Games Still Happening?
The X Games was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the games are still being staged every year and were held as planned in 2021 (albeit with some restrictions).
Where Can I Watch the X Games?
ESPN is the best place to watch the X Games in the United States. Official X Games competitions are televised every year by ESPN and you can catch all of the action live.
Non-US viewers can catch the X Games on international ESPN channels as well as Eurosport, TSN, RDS, and Trans7.
Tricks at the X Games
Athletes often use the X Games to showcase their latest tricks, wowing the crowd and creating their own piece of extreme sports history.
For example, it was at the 1999 X Games that Tony Hawk landed the 900 after 10 failed attempts. Technically, regulation time had passed and while some of the competing skaters protested, Hawk was allowed to continue and ultimately landed the famous trick.
It was also at the X Games that Shaun White performed the Double McTwist 1260, as well as a snowmobile front flip by Heath Frisby and a Motocross double backflip by Travis Pastrana.
The X Games history is littered with iconic tricks and memorable moments, and that’s one of the reasons why its popularity has endured for so long and why it’s so revered in the world of extreme sports.