In the beginning of May, footage of a Nike trip to Israel surfaced featuring Nike BMX riders Alex Kennedy and Simone Barraco. The four-minute 30 second video featured Kennedy (from the U.K.) and Barraco's (from Italy) daily excursions throughout a 12-day visit to Tel Aviv, and the BMX world quickly took note. "Barraco and Kennedy's highly technical approach to the style is certainly pleasing to the eye. This is one video, regardless of where your interest lies in BMX, you should watch. If not because you actually like the riding, at least for its impact on the current state of BMX," said ESPN's Nick Ferreira.
Barely a week later, Kennedy received his first invite to BMX Street at X Games Los Angeles, while Barraco received an alternate invite to the same event, basically on the power of that video, and the timing involved with its release. Now, just over two weeks away from the start of X Games Los Angeles, Alex Kennedy's ticket is booked and he's well on his way to rubbing elbow on the street course with the likes of Garrett Reynolds, Dakota Roche and more.
Meanwhile, Barraco had remained an alternate, until both Nathan Williams and Ty Morrows decided that they were unable to compete due to ongoing wrist injuries. Barraco was given the alternate spot, along with GT's Rob Wise. For Barraco, the invite alone is an accomplishment for his country of Italy. The 20-year-old, originally hailing from Genova, Italy, is the first Italian BMXer to be invited to X Games in the entire history of the event.
And that's not all he has going for him. In less than a year's time, Barraco was added to the Subrosa and Shadow Conspiracy pro teams. Between successful filming missions to the U.S., Barraco has produced two stellar "Welcome to the team" edits in just over six month's time, Shadow's in November, and earlier today, Subrosa's, available here to watch.
Get to know Simone Barraco in the above video, then be sure to check out his riding from Shadow and Subrosa. And in two weeks time, look for Barraco to make his X Games debut in BMX Street.