CORONA, Calif., July 10, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The world’s greatest action sports showcase returns! After a year of pandemic lockdown, the summer edition of X Games is back to award medals and push the progression across BMX, skateboarding and motocross disciplines from July 14 – 18, 2021. Monster Energy, the official energy drink partner of X Games, is proud to bring the heat with its team of top athletes and multiple X Games gold medalists to this history-making sports spectacle.
Following the cancellation of the final host city year of X Games Minneapolis 2020 due to the pandemic, X Games 2021 will be contested at three unique athlete training facilities around Southern California.
As the 62nd edition of X Games returns to the roots of action sports, two Monster Energy athletes are opening their private training facilities as competition sites: BMX team rider Pat Casey will host the boundary-pushing BMX action at his Dream Yard on July 14. Next, the world elite of Moto X will battle for X Games medals at Axell Hodges’ legendary Slayground compound on July 15. And finally, all skateboarding events are contested at the California Training Facility (CATF) from July 17 to 18, alongside BMX Street on July 16.
X Games 2021 will be closed to the public and produced with comprehensive COVID-19 risk mitigation protocols in place for participants and staff. But even without spectators and musical performances on-site, viewers across the globe will get to witness X Games history written by the world elite in all three sports: More than 80 athletes from eleven countries will compete for a total of 43 medals across 17 medal disciplines.
Over the course of five action-packed days, a total of 15.5 hours of competitions will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN2, ABC and the ESPN App. Plus, all competitions will stream live on @XGames digital and social media platforms, supplemented by behind-the-scenes, athlete-curated and complementary content.
Rounding out the experience, the virtual X Fest returns to give fans at home a chance to win prizes, play games, and interact with X Games content. Starting on July 14, fans will have the opportunity to customize their own avatar, shred the interactive skate and BMX course, complete missions in the all-new ‘Story Mode’ and interact with sponsors such as Monster Energy.
X Games is the pinnacle of action sports competitions, so the invite-only event is reserved for multiple-time X Games medalists and highly competitive newcomers. As the official drink sponsor of X Games 2021, Monster Energy is looking forward to raising the bar with a heavy-hitting team of athletes and defending gold medalists in these key events:
X Games 2021 will officially kick off with BMX competitions on Wednesday, July 14, at Pat Casey’s backyard facility in Riverside, California. Also known as the “Dream Yard”, what began in 2013 as a basic backyard ramp has since evolved into a full-scale technical dirt and park course encompassing more than 10,000 feet of terrain. Over the years, the Dream Yard has been the stage for four Monster-produced video parts that have garnered more than 1.3 million combined views.
“I’m very excited to be hosting X Games at my house this year! It will allow me to share my ramps and dirt jumps with other amazing athletes and bring back BMX for our first major contest since COVID-19,” said two-time X Games BMX medalist Pat Casey.
In the BMX Dirt event, two-time gold medalist Kevin Peraza i s coming back swinging after one entire year without X Games competitions. But competition will be fierce: Monster Energy team rider Larry Edgar from Corona, California, has been on fire this season on the Dirt circuit, perhaps with enough momentum to clinch his first X Games medal? Plus, Andy Buckworth has been slaying recent BMX Dirt leaderboards and is looking to give his X Games bronze medal some company. He will be battling Monster teammate James Foster from Redlands, California, looking to bring his dominance from Big Air onto the dirt course and expand his impressive X Games record of six medals (2 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze).
The BMX Dirt discipline is also where UK team rider Ben Wallace has earned two X Games silver medals based on a huge bag of tricks. Monster Energy’s Colton Walker already took gold in his rookie debut at X Games Minneapolis 2017 and is gunning for his third overall medal at X Games. Also bringing the heat, watch out for Monster Army rider and BMX prodigy Bryce Tryon from Lodi, California, in his X Games debut! And let’s not forget the Lord of the Manor: Pat Casey knows the Dream Yard like no other and already owns two medals (1 silver, 1 bronze). Will he claim his first X Games gold on his home turf? Tune in and prepare to get stoked as most of these riders will also up the ante in the spectacular BMX Dirt Best Trick.
When the shredding moves into BMX Park, watch out for the latest addition to Monster Energy’s Pro BMX team: 24-year-old Jeremy Malott just made his debut with the ‘Breakthrough’ video part and is ready to roll with the big boys at X Games 2021. Malott is facing a stacked field, including Canadian team rider Mike Varga, who stunned audiences at X Games Minneapolis 2019 by claiming gold in BMX Park Best Trick, his first medal. And remember: The Park discipline is going down on Pat Casey’s home ramp, so he has eyes on the podium alongside Edgar, Wallace, and Peraza! The heated day of BMX at the Dream Yard wraps up with Dave Mirra’s Park Best Trick featuring Casey, Malott, and wildcard Varga.
Ending the BMX action at X Games 2021 with a bang, BMX Street hits the California Training Facility (CATF) in Vista on July 16, with BMX whiz kid Alex Donnachie among the top contenders. Donnachie already made history as the first Scottish athlete ever to medal at X Games when he took BMX Street gold at X Games Sydney 2018 and is hungry for more. Also looking for his second medal this summer, Australian team rider Lewis Mills wants to improve on his silver from Sydney 2018. Plus, anything can happen as Park specialist Kevin Peraza jumps into the Street event to expand his X Games legacy. And did we mention that new Monster team rider Felix Prangenberg f rom Germany is ready to add to his silver medal from X Games Shanghai 2019? This is gearing up to become a true must-watch for BMX fans!
Look forward to an all-star showcase when the world elite of Moto X descends upon Axell Hodges‘ legendary Slayground in Ramona, California, on July 15. As seen in the recent ‘Slayground 3’ video that has garnered over 2.6 million views, the facility boasts the full gambit of steep corners, kicker ramps, quarter pipes, wallrides, manual tables and huge dirt jumps. Enhanced by some key updates for X Games 2021, Slayground will host Moto X Best Trick, Best Whip, Freestyle, QuarterPipe High Air and the new 110s Racing discipline.
“Hosting X Games at my Slayground is a huge opportunity for the entire sport. From day one, Slayground was all about pushing the progression of freestyle motocross. I know everyone is ready to come back after an entire year without contests ready to send it and we’ll push the progression to the next level. Thanks to ESPN, Monster Energy and all my sponsors for making this happen. Let’s go!” said seven-time X Games Moto X medalist Axell Hodges.
When the action kicks off with Moto X Freestyle, keep an eye on Monster Energy’s Jackson Strong looking to improve on bronze from X Games Minneapolis 2019. The 29-year-old from Lockhart, Australia, dominates in Best Trick and even earned a bronze medal on Snow Bike at X Games Aspen 2020, bringing his X Games total to a whopping 13 medals (6 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze). But when it comes to stacking medals, it’s hard to deny Josh Sheehan as the owner of eleven X Games medals, including one X Games gold from Austin 2016.
Plus, it’s been a long time coming for Australia’s Harry Bink to claim his first X Games medal. He finished fifth in Freestyle at X Games Minneapolis 2019 – will this be his year to rise to the podium? What’s more, the audience will see Moto X royalty put on a show when Taka Higashino drops in: The 36-year-old FMX icon made history as the first Japanese athlete to medal at X Games and has claimed three X Games gold medals in Moto X Freestyle (five medals total) throughout his storied career. The veteran will be joined by a young upstart: Ben Richards f rom Wagga Wagga, Australia, made a splash as the Monster Army’s first-ever FMX rider and is now ready to bring his skills to the big stage at X Games.
The energy will be off the charts when riders send their most contorted aerials, also known as ‘whips’, in Thursday’s Moto X Best Whip competition. All eyes will be on the host, Axell Hodges, who has claimed silver and bronze medals in the discipline, but still wants to get his hands on gold. Will ‘Slay’ seal the deal on his own compound? Not if Monster teammate Jarryd McNeil has a word! The 15-time X Games medalist from Yarrawonga, Australia, already holds five gold medals in Best Whip, most recently from X Games Norway 2019. Plus, McNeil is currently tied with Travis Pastrana for most Moto X gold in X Games history. Will we witness a new record at X Games 2021?
When it’s time to throw Best Whips in the air, Japanese ripper Genki Watanabe has also earned podium fame with two X Games silver medals in the discipline; the most recent at X Games Norway 2019. The upstart mentored by Taka Higashino will be battling Josh Sheehan and the most accomplished woman in motocross, Monster Energy rider Vicki Golden, who owns bronze in Best Whip. Look forward to the most epic whip fest in X Games history!
Speaking of X Games history, get stoked on a brand-new discipline on the Moto X roster: 110s Racing will see an elite mix of motocross talent – and some wildcards including BMX rider Pat Casey – putting the pedal to the metal. The new event pitches Axell Hodges and Jarryd McNeil and head-to-head in a field of six riders. Want the inside scoop? Vicki Golden boasts an impressive racing career that has earned three straight gold medals in the X Games Women’s Moto X, plus honors as the first woman to qualify for an AMA Arenacross Main Event. We have no idea what to expect – and that’s the whole point!
How about another competition that’s wide open? Moto X QuarterPipe High Air is where Axell Hodges took gold with a dominant performance at X Games Minneapolis 2018. But the creator of the Slayground will face some of the world’s leading aerial specialists, including Jarryd McNeil.
For the grand finale of the motocross action, tune in for Moto X Best Trick where old scores will be settled, and new trick creations unveiled. Monster Energy’s Jackson Strong took gold in the last contest before pandemic shutdown, X Games Norway 2019. But at XG Minneapolis that same year, ‘Jacko’ came in second behind Frenchman David Rinaldo – and the two will revisit their rivalry at Slayground. On that note, also factor Josh Sheehan into this podium battle after his bronze at Minneapolis 2019 and this competition is literally saving the best for last.
On Friday, July 16, X Games 2021 switches gears into skateboard mode. The high-tech California Training Facility (CATF) in Vista will be home to Skateboard Street (Men and Women), Park (Men and Women), Vert, Vert Best Trick and Street Best Trick competitions. With all courses designed by the experts behind X Games competition set-ups, CATF provides the perfect backdrop for some of the world’s best men and women skateboarders to push the limits.
Monster Energy is headed into the Men’s Skateboard Park event with a heavy squad. Leading the charge, 21-year-old skateboard phenom Tom Schaar is hungry for a medal after closely missing the podium at X Games Minneapolis 2019. Known as the first skateboarder to land a 1080 aerial, Schaar has been competing at X Games since the age of 12 and owns eight medals (1 gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze). He will also bring his unique trick repertoire to the tall halfpipe at CATF for the Vert and Vert Best Trick events.
For another podium threat in Men’s Skateboard Park, look no further than Monster Energy’s Trey Wood. Although the 20-year-old from Queen Creek, Arizona, has earned his X Games gold and two bronze medals in Skateboard Big Air, he’s been building his park skills on trips to the Pacific Northwest and at CATF. Also brace yourself for a certified Thrasher Magazine ‘Skater of the Year’ (SOTY) winner Ishod Wair. Wair’s transition skating skills are only surpassed by his nonchalant style. For the ultimate wild card, Monster Army rider Liam Pace just put in amazing runs at the 2021 Dew Tour Des Moines and won bronze in the 2019 U.S. Nationals at the CATF. Watch him bring skills to the battle with the top of the crop on Friday.
In the highly contested Women’s Skateboard Park final at the CATF, look out for new Monster Energy athlete Mami Tezuka from Hikone Shiga, Japan. The 19-year-old bowl ripper may be new to the team but has already proven her contest chops with results like a third-place finish in the 2019 Vans Park Series World Championship Finals. She will be joined by Monster Army rider Grace Marhoefer from Cocoa Beach, Florida, in her X Games debut after strong performances on the park skating circuit.
Saturday wraps up X Games 2021 with some of the finest street skaters on the planet. In the Women’s Skateboard Street final, get ready for the graceful style of 24-year-old Fabiana Delfino f rom Boca Raton, Florida. With accolades like a first-place trophy at Vans Showdown, Delfino is looking for her first precious metal at an X Games.
While Ishod Wair may be a wild card in the park, he’s right in his element in Men’s Skateboard Street. In April, the 29-year-old from Bordentown, New Jersey, took first place in the SLS Unsanctioned 2 competition and is a certified X Games gold medalist from X Games Norway 2019. He will be joined by 23-year-old street ripper Gabriel Fortunato from Sao Paulo, Brazil, who will be making his X Games debut and also competes in the Street Best Trick event alongside Wair. With so much young talent and certified icons in the mix, look forward to the world’s most spectacular action sports showcase from July 14-18 at X Games 2021!
One more thing: Following the success of the X Games Real series of video competitions, eight skateboard and six BMX athletes will drop never-before-seen video parts on XGames.com on July 5. The Real BMX video parts and winner will be announced on air on ABC on July 17, and the Real Street video parts and winner will be announced during the X Games 2021 telecasts on ABC on July 18. In Real BMX, look out for newly minted Monster Energy team rider Felix Prangenberg from Cologne, Germany. And in the Real Street event, Canadian Olympic skateboarder Matt Berger is gunning for a medal with a 60-second video part filmed on natural street terrain.
Visit http://www.monsterenergy.com for exclusive updates from X Games 2021 including photos, videos, and contest results as they happen. Also follow Monster Energy on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, [Twitter and [TikTok for exclusive updates across all three sports.
About Monster Energy
Based in Corona, California, Monster Energy is the leading marketer of energy drinks and alternative beverages. Refusing to acknowledge the traditional, Monster Energy supports the scene and sport. Whether motocross, off-road, NASCAR, MMA, BMX, surf, snowboard, ski, skateboard, or the rock and roll lifestyle, Monster Energy is a brand that believes in authenticity and the core of what its sports, athletes and musicians represent. More than a drink, it’s the way of life lived by athletes, sports, bands, believers, and fans. See more about Monster Energy including all of its drinks at http://www.monsterenergy.com.
Kimberly Paige Dresser, Indie Agency, Inc., (949) 300-5546, [email protected]
SOURCE Indie Agency, Inc.