Top moments and photos from X Games Austin 2016
X Games bids farewell to our summer home for three good years. We may have had rain and lightning and wind this weekend, but we also had a whole lot of fun. Thanks for the memories, Austin. We will miss your style, your BBQ and your epic hospitality. Come visit in our new location, to be announced soon.
Men's Skateboard Park final ~ Kevin Kowalski
One of the best things about the Skateboard Park competition is how much it feels like witnessing a session that could go down in any park on any day, if these particular skateboarders were gathered together. The contest seemed almost like an afterthought to the hang out, as some of the best skateboarders in the world lounged on the sides of the park course laughing and yelling and cheering each other on.
BMX Dirt final ~ Chris Doyle
Chris Doyle has been competing in BMX Dirt since the late 1990s, and is more often than not a top-five finisher to this day. This year, Doyle made no bones about his plans. He'd spend a few days "practicing" at Woodward Camp, then see what happened. The results: Doyle placed sixth and remained healthy. For one of the elder statesmen in Dirt, that's nothing to complain about.
Men's Skateboard Park final ~ Pedro Barros
Pedro Barros has never finished worse than silver-medal position in his nine X Games Skateboard Park appearances. The 2014 gold medalist got bumped to silver in 2015, but came back to solidly reclaim the top spot this year, bringing his gold-medal tally to six.
Men's Skateboard Park final ~ Ben Raybourn
Ben Raybourn doesn't skate to win, he skates to entertain. Here he amuses his peers by using his body to focus-break his board after a shot at creativity ended in a fall.
Moto X Best Trick ~ Jacko Strong
Australia's Jacko Strong was helicoptered to the hospital after slamming his neck into his handlebars in the Moto X QuarterPipe competition. After confirming that the artery in his neck was not, in fact, ruptured, Strong checked out of the hospital and took a heli back to the X Games venue, where Brian Deegan met him at the helipad and brought him to the Best Trick competition ... which he then won with a front flip.
Moto X QuarterPipe ~ Thomas Pages
Tom Pages was the only competitor to throw two trick variations. After landing his trademark bikeflip, he came back with a never-been-done-at-X alley-oop 540 flair to take the gold.
BMX Dirt final ~ Ryan Nyquist
It's been a bit of an emotional year for BMX Dirt and Park competitor Ryan Nyquist, who came up alongside Dave Mirra throughout the late 1990s and 2000s. This year, Nyquist was invited back for both BMX disciplines, after competing in additional mountain bike competitions earlier in the year, and paid tribute to Mirra by going big and keeping it clean.
This never gets old. Never. There are a lot of things we're going to miss about this event, but some of us might miss Twiggy, the waterskiing squirrel, most of all.
BMX Dirt final ~ Anthony Napolitan
Anthony Napolitan is best known in X Games circles for landing the world's first double frontflip in BMX Big Air in Los Angeles. But his roots are dirt-based, and for the past two years, X Games has celebrated that. This year, Napolitan failed to medal, but his penchant for the classics did not go unnoticed.
Moto X Best Whip ~ Axell Hodges
Axell Hodges dislocated his shoulder in Moto X Step Up on Thursday night. Then he came back and won silver in the fan-vote Best Whip contest Sunday afternoon.
Moto X Best Whip ~ Tom Parsons
The heartbreak of a fan-vote contest is that sometimes a really good whip, like this near-upside-down style whip thrown by Tom Parsons here, doesn't land a podium spot, when maybe it should. But the crowd spoke, and we respect that.
Saturday at X Games Austin
Evan Smith skates in the Men's Skateboard Street final between mini squalls during a commercial break. The storm that moved in before Men's Skateboard Street hit so quickly that no one got out of it dry. The final, when it eventually went down, was contested by a field of skateboarders with wet shoes and wet clothes but not dampened spirits.
All hands on deck
Weather continued its reign of chaos Saturday by unleashing periodically throughout the day and forcing the eventual delay of Moto X Best Trick and all Big Air events, which will be contested Sunday. The weather let up enough for the BMX and Skateboard Park and Street competitions to run, after an all-hands-on-deck drying session.
BMX Park final ~ Drew Bezanson
DK Bicycles team rider Drew Bezanson has come awfully close to clinching gold at X Games several years in a row, but he tends to focus on one trick, nail it and bask in that satisfaction instead of gold medal glory. In BMX Park at XG Austin 2016, Bezanson nailed an incredibly difficult sub box combo on a very high area of the park course -- twice in two separate runs. That pull was enough to satisfy Bezanson's trip to Austin.
BMX Park final ~ Dennis Enarson
Haro Bicycles Pro Dennis Enarson was invited to compete in both BMX Park and Street at X Games Austin 2016, but because of scheduling concerns, he chose to drop out of Street and focus on Park. That decision weighed in his favor after he grabbed the gold medal in BMX Park finals. Enarson's runs are technical, burly and stylish, but he keeps time for the classics, such as this tire slide.
Women's Skateboard Street final ~ Pamela Rosa
X Games Oslo Women's Skateboard Street gold medalist Pamela Rosa skated with precision Saturday and proved that her podium position was no fluke by backing it up with another top-spot performance. The 16-year-old Brazilian powerhouse beat favorites Leticia Bufoni and Alexis Sablone for the win.
Dave Mirra Tribute
The BMX family joined together after the end of the BMX park final Saturday in Austin to pay tribute to BMX pioneer Dave Mirra.
Men's Skateboard Street final ~ Ryan Sheckler
The upside of the rain delay on Men's Skateboard Street was that when the contest finally went down, the temperatures were mild and the skateboarders were loose. Eight-time X Games medalist Ryan Sheckler didn't make the podium, but he came close and was on hand to celebrate with Ryan Decenzo, who did.
BMX Street final ~ Garrett Reynolds
Throughout BMX Street finals at X Games Austin 2016, Garrett Reynolds was in unfamiliar territory (the middle of the pack) in points. In fact, Reynolds was not even in podium position through his final run. When he rolled out for his final with all eyes on him, he stepped up to the pressure, delivered a flawless run and walked away with another gold medal in BMX Street. That's a wrap for Reynolds' week at X.
Friday at X Games Austin
Although rain has been soaking much of Texas the past few days, events at COTA remained relatively dry ... until Skateboard Big Air started Friday night. Rain and lightning forced a shut down, and the Big Air event will now be held Saturday. Check the XGames.com homepage for the most updated information. For the best images from Friday, before the storm, continue.
Moto X Freestyle final ~ Tom Pagès
Tom Pagès won the first-ever QuarterPipe event at X Games Austin 2015 with a bike flip. This year he opened his Freestyle run with the trick, but didn't land an alley-oop 540 on a subsequent jump and finished off the podium. Pagès' runs have a high-risk to low-success ratio. If he lands all his tricks, he's nearly unbeatable, but due to the difficulty level, his chance of crashing is high.
Skateboard Vert final ~ Paul-Luc Ronchetti
Skateboard Vert's field of competitors are caught at a curious trifecta between the esteemed veterans, the young upstarts and a new, unexpected U.K. invasion that includes Paul-Luc Ronchetti. In 2015, Ronchetti was able to podium, but was unable to replicate his medaled success in 2016. However, his style and extension were second to none on Friday at X Games Austin 2016.
Moto X Freestyle final ~ Josh Sheehan
Josh Sheehan is the only X Games athlete scheduled to compete in four disciplines at Austin 2016. (Best Whip, Best Trick, Freestyle and QuarterPipe.) He is coming back from a broken collar bone that had surgery for in February, and has only been back on his bike for a little over a month. It didn't seem to slow him down on Friday, when he took gold in the return of Moto X Freestyle.
Skateboard Vert final ~ Bob Burnquist
Brazilian skateboarder Bob Burnquist is competing in his 25th X Games event this year in Austin. That will make him the only athlete to participate in every X Games summer event. "I don't know if I should celebrate or cry," Burnquist says. "You start getting old and your friends are all gone." Burnquist currently has 30 X Games medals, the most in history. He did not add to his collection Friday in Skateboard Vert.
BMX Dirt practice ~ Mike Clark
Mike "Hucker" Clark earned the silver medal in BMX Dirt at X Games Austin 2015, and gained an automatic invite to Austin this year. In practice, Hucker fared well, unleashing 360 tailwhips with ease over the jumps. Hucker competes in BMX Dirt finals on Saturday at X Games Austin 2016.
Skateboard Street Am final ~ Tyson Bowerbank
Defending 2015 Skateboard Street Am winner, Tyson Bowerbank, earned his way back to Austin by winning a qualifying event, the Boardr Am Vista, earlier this year. The 21-year-old then proved that his win was no fluke. He took the top spot again in the event on Friday.
Women's Skateboard Park practice ~ Brighton Zeuner
At 11 years, 10 months old, Brighton Zeuner will become the youngest female competitor in X Games history when she drops in during the Women's Park event on Saturday. Don't let her age and size fool you: She recently finished fourth at her first pro contest, the Vans Girls Combi Pool Classic in January, and then took second at Vert Attack in April. She's definitely a contender for the podium.
The Festival Village at X Games Austin never disappoints, and this year got off to a bang with a dog ball distance jump competition. Did Fido win the gold medal? Tune in to the Austin Anthology show on the "World of X Games" for the full details.
Men's Skateboard Street practice ~ Nyjah Huston
An 11-year-old Nyjah Huston first appeared at the X Games in 2006. He finished eighth. Three years later he landed on the Men's Skateboard Street podium in silver-medal position. Ten years on the now-matured 21-year old has 11 X Games medals to his name, eight of them gold. To say he's hard to beat is an understatement.
BMX Vert final ~ Coco Zurita
Chilean BMX Vert rider Coco Zurita came to X Games Austin with some big news: He had gained a new sponsor in the way of Subrosa Bicycles. Zurita's less-is-more approach to BMX Vert means more height and less variations, and even though the judges didn't appreciate his methods in Austin (he earned seventh), he remained a style god on the vert ramp.
BMX Big Air practice ~ Douglas Oliveira
Springtime in Texas means plentiful rains, green grass and the emergence of Texas' vast expanse of wild flowers, which dotted the landscape around the X Games Austin 2016 Big Air ramp. Here, Douglas Oliveira backflips the MegaRamp gap.
Women's Skateboard Street practice ~ Leticia Bufoni
Two-time Women's Skateboard Street gold medalist Leticia Bufoni had a big 2015. She won Transworld Skateboarding's first Readers Choice Best Female award, became the first woman on the Nike skate team, won the first women's Street League contest and was the first woman to appear on the cover of The Skateboard Mag (October). She finished just one stop off of the podium at X Games Austin 2015, but the Brazilian powerhouse is always a contender for gold.
BMX Park practice ~ Gary Young
It has been a hectic year for BMX Park veteran Gary Young. Between full video parts in Odyssey BMX's "3015" and a newer section in Vans' "Illustrated," which premiered in Austin this week, he has been burning the midnight oil. But he has continued to make time for his true love: BMX Park. Here, Young throws a casual tailwhip on the BMX Park course during practice at X Games Austin 2016.
BMX Street practice ~ Sean Burns
In 2010, BMX street legend Sean Burns was invited to compete in BMX Street at X Games. He gapped out of the course, over a camera man, and smoked a cigarette when the dust settled. He also made it onto SportsCenter for his antics. This year at X Games Austin 2016, Burns is a judge who doubles as the world's most adept fastplanter on the BMX Street course.
Women's Skateboard Street practice ~ Vanessa Torres
Vanessa Torres won the first-ever XG women's street event (then called Park) in 2003 and added silver in 2004. She returned to the podium at Austin 2015 with bronze and followed with another bronze at XG Oslo 2016. She credits her renewed passion for the sport to her newfound sobriety. She is always a podium threat.
Thursday at X Games Austin 2016
X Games is kicking off its final year in Austin, Texas, with 19 events in three sports, all going down over the course of four days.
Moto X Step Up final ~ Jarryd McNeil, Libor Podmol
Seven-time Step Up gold medalist Ronnie Renner was favored to win the first event of X Games Austin 2016, but he stopped at the 30-foot-mark and ended the night tied with Bryce Hudson for fourth place. Meanwhile, Jarryd McNeil, pictured jumping, and Libor Podmol, sitting far right, tied for gold with 33-foot jumps, and Massimo Bianconcini came in at 32 feet to clinch the bronze.
Harley-Davidson Flat-Track Racing final
Harley-Davidson Flat-Track Racing made its debut at X Games last year in Austin. The story going into this event was much like the last: Jared Mees came in as the reigning champion of the sport's main competition series, AMA Pro Flat Track. Bryan Smith was the main challenger on the AMA series. In 2015, Smith won X Games gold when leader Mees suffered a mechanical bike break down on the final lap. This year, Mees' bike performed in top shape and he bested the field for the win, with Kenny Coolbeth Jr. and Brad Baker finishing second and third, respectively.
Women's Skateboard Park practice ~ Julz Lynn
Among the events returning to X Games after a brief hiatus is Women's Skateboard Park, which hasn't been seen since XG Barcelona 2013. Julz Lynn, who won the bronze medal in that event, takes a practice lap in the park course Wednesday afternoon.
BMX Park practice ~ Scotty Cranmer
Scotty Cranmer has blocked the X Games BMX Park three-peat attempts of others (Dave Mirra in 2006 and Daniel Dhers in 2009 and 2012) on his way to gold medal wins of his own. After earning bronze in 2015, his ninth Park medal, Cranmer tied Mirra's record for the most total medals in the discipline.
Men's Skateboard Street practice ~ Ryan Decenzo
Two-time X Games Real Street silver medalist Ryan Decenzo was the top qualifier into the final at X Games Austin 2015 and finished just off the podium. The video star has two gold medals in X Games Game of Skate but hasn't medaled in Street since 2010.
Harley-Davidson Flat-Track Racing practice ~ Sammy Halbert
Sammy Halbert was in third place when race leader Jared Mees' bike faltered on the final lap at X Games Austin 2015. He brushed up against Mees, who was coasting to a stop, and pressured Bryan Smith for gold but ended in the silver-medal position.
Men's Skateboard Street practice ~ Ryan Sheckler
Ryan Sheckler, star of Justin Bieber's recent 140-million-views-on-YouTube video, "What Do You Mean?" takes a lap through the street course. Sheckler is registered to compete in both Street and Park in Austin. If he skates in both events it will be his first time competing in Park at X Games since 2003.
Step Up final ~ Jarryd McNeil
Though there has been a flash flood watch for much of Texas this week, and the X Games venue has seen its share of rain, Mother Nature has been merciful and mostly limited her deluge to non-event hours so far. Jarryd McNeil boosts his way to gold in the first official final of the Games.
Skateboard Street Ams practice ~ Gabriel Fortunato
Brazil's Gabriel Fortunato works on his run. Skateboard Street Ams opens the day's competition on Friday, starting at 2:30 p.m. CT.