Best moments of X Games L.A. 2013
Good Day L.A.
As the X Games bids farewell to Los Angeles after 11 wonderful years, let's take a moment to look back at the action highlights and special moments that went down in the final four days of the very last X Games L.A.
X Games L.A.: Day 4
The final day of X Games Los Angeles belonged to motorsports, as Enduro X started the fun off at the Staples Center and Ford RallyCross took the event home out at the Irwindale Speedway.
X Fest Fans
Between all the musical acts, interactive zones and the best athletes in the world patiently waiting to sign autographs, these kids went nuts. Age was not a factor in the X Fest zone; entire families were caught dancing with smiles from ear to ear.
Enduro X has become one of the most hotly contested events of the X Games this year. Taddy Blazusiak and Mike Brown (shown here) have gone back and forth for the win since Enduro X first debuted at X Games in 2011. In L.A., Blazusiak took the gold.
Wiman: RallyCross Lites
Joni Wiman laps Halid Avdagic en route to winning a gold medal Sunday in the first RallyCross Lites final in X Games history, held at the Irwindale Speedway. Avdagic finished seventh in the eight-car main event.
Blazusiak: Men's Enduro X
Polish rider Taddy Blazusiak bested his friend and KTM teammate Mike Brown in Los Angeles to take another lead in a long-running rivalry: Blazusiak now has three Enduro X gold medals to Brown's two.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants grand requests to children across the United States who have life-threatening medical conditions. The organization brought three lucky kids out to X Games L.A. 2013 for four days of VIP access, including meeting their favorite pros, checking out the action from all the best angles and exploring the X Fest area. Eden Morrison, sister to Make-A-Wish grantee Isaac Morrison, poses atop a feature in the Ford Fiesta Park.
Sanz: Women's Enduro X
Spanish rider Laia Sanz battled back after a bad start on a grueling Enduro X course to collect her third X Games gold of 2013 on Sunday. She also holds gold medals from previous wins in Foz do Iguau and Barcelona.
Ford RallyCross Final
The crash in the first hairpin turn on the first lap of the final Ford RallyCross race took out three of the race favorites: Liam Doran, Ken Block and Brian Deegan. Block and Deegan went on to finish sixth and seventh, respectively. Doran didn't finish the race.
Toomas "Topi" Heikkinen has been on a rally racing roll this year. He won the second of two RallyCross races at X Games Munich in June, then went on to win two more non-X rally races before taking home the gold at X Games Los Angeles on Sunday. The Finnish driver pulled into the lead early at the Irwindale Speedway and never looked back.
Ford Fiesta Park
Pigeon John, an L.A. resident, rocked the crowd at the Ford Fiesta Park designed by skate/snow/art collective So-Gnar. Dodging skaters and kamikaze boards, Pigeon didn't miss a beat.
Tanner Foust now has nine X Games medals, including the silver he picked up in the smash-'em-up Ford RallyCross final just one day after winning gold in the X Games debut of Gymkhana GRID.
Red Bull Live Mural
Tattoo and graffiti artist 2Shae lays down a sick mural for the enormous Red Bull booth that capped the end of the X Fest area. We're pretty sure 2Shae's spray cans had wings by Day 4 of X Games L.A.; the mural was a continuously evolving piece of art that was added to each day as fans looked on.
Block: Gymkhana GRID
Gymkhana GRID made its X Games debut this year at the Irwindale Events Center. Ken Block, shown in a sequential image, helped create the sport he made famous in his viral videos but was knocked out by Liam Doran in the quarterfinals.
Schultz: Moto X Adaptive
Pro SnoCross and Moto X Adaptive racer Mike Schultz had his left leg amputated above the knee after a racing injury in 2008. He built his own special knee and prosthetic leg in order to keep riding. He now builds prosthetic legs through his company, Biodapt, which several racers use when competing at the X Games. Schultz has five total X Games medals, including one gold and one silver in Moto X Adaptive.
Huston: Street League at X
Defending 2012 Street League Skateboarding champion Nyjah Huston collected his third gold medal of the 2013 global X Games series Saturday, beating out Chris Cole and Luan Oliveira for the win.
Kerley: BMX Street
"It's an honor to be beat by this guy and I'm honestly surprised that it hadn't happened earlier," said Garrett Reynolds after Chad Kerley bested him for the win in BMX Street on Saturday. "He's going to be the next big thing. He already is. ... Now there's going to be a kid who watches him and follows him, and that's how the sport progresses."
Lasek: Skateboard Vert
Before 2013, Bucky Lasek hadn't brought home a gold in Vert since 2006. All that changed this year: On Saturday the 40-year-old skateboard legend took home his fourth consecutive X Games Vert gold medal.
Pudwill: Street League at X
This photo of Torey Pudwill was taken after it was clear he would not make the Street League at X Games final. There was a trick he was determined to make, however, and the crowd was on its feet when he finally nailed it and rolled away.
Roche: BMX Street
Following a string of knee injuries that sidelined BMX Street invitee Dakota Roche for the majority of the X Games season, the Huntington Beach, Calif., local returned for X Games Los Angeles. Roche kept it simple and stylish on the narrow quarterpipe transitions that bookended the Event Deck course.
Smith: BMX Street practice
The world of BMX Street as seen through the lens of one of the GoPro cameras trained on eventual bronze-medal winner Jeremiah Smith.
Rutledge: Women's Moto X Racing
The Women's Moto X Racing event is 12 laps -- and every single one of them counts. In a crushing misjudgment, race leader Meghan Rutledge threw a fist in the air while sailing over the final jump of the course on the last lap, assuming she had a win in the bag. Her early claim cost her, though, as it distracted her from her landing. Vicki Golden passed a downed Rutledge to take gold. For Rutledge, crumpled over her handlebars in obvious distress, the silver medal provided little comfort.
Foust & Sandell: GRID
The light turns green on the Christmas tree for Tanner Foust, left, and Patrik Sandell in the Gymkhana GRID final Saturday night at Irwindale Speedway. Foust won the first gold in Gymkhana GRID in X Games history.
Foust: Gymkhana GRID
Burnouts don't do anything to help your speed in a Gymkhana GRID race, but after you've won already they sure are fun to do.
LaMay & Peick: Moto X Racing
Chad Reed squeezed Ben LaMay and Weston Peick out on the hole shot in the Men's Moto X Racing final Saturday night, sending the two into the jersey barrier on the first turn of the first lap. LaMay got back into the race, but Peick had to roll his bike off the track.
Moto X Racing final
Another last-lap fable, the Men's Moto X Racing final challenged assumptions Saturday night. Josh Hill held a firm, though aggressively defended, lead until the final go-around, when he was pinned into a barrier by Justin Brayton's passing maneuver. Brayton zipped to his first gold medal and Hill settled for an unexpected silver-medal finish.
Ronchetti: Skateboard Vert
British skater Paul-Luc Ronchetti has competed three times in Vert at X Games but hasn't broken onto the podium yet. However, the 20-year-old moved to the U.S. in 2008, when his dad became general manager of LEGOLAND, and now skates every day, so Lasek and PLG better watch their backs.
A Seattle native who now calls Los Angeles home, EDM DJ/producer/one-man band Robert DeLong played Club Nokia Friday night as part of the X Games MUSIC showcase. For some lucky fans, this was their second chance to see him live at the X Games: DeLong played an intimate set in Tignes, France, back in March.
X Games L.A.: Day 2
Friday was jam-packed with action, as skateboard heavies were eliminated in Street League and Skateboard Vert qualifications, Moto X Speed & Style saw a champ return while GoPro BMX Big Air crowned a new king, and X Games MUSIC rocked the party until the wee hours.
Huston: Street League Prelims
Did anybody doubt that when Nyjah Huston stepped back into Street League at X Games competition, he would be back with a vengeance? Here he is, qualifying first in prelims Friday morning.
Renner: Step Up practice
Ronnie Renner, who holds the Moto X Step Up record with his X Games L.A. 2012 gold-medal jump of 47 feet, prepares the Step Up ramp for Friday's competition.
Lasek: Skateboard Vert Elims
Bucky Lasek has taken home the gold medal in Skateboard Vert from every X Games so far this year. He qualified for Saturday's final in the second spot, behind former gold medalist PLG.
PLG: Skateboard Vert Elims
Pierre-Luc Gagnon has 19 X Games medals, eight of which are gold. Shockingly, he failed to medal at either X Games Foz do Iguau or Barcelona, but he came back and got silver in Munich after leading until the final run of the competition. On Friday he qualified for the Vert final in the top spot.
Wade: BMX Big Air
Veteran BMX Big Air competitor Morgan Wade proved that "Big" does indeed matter in the discipline. Wade's quarterpipe airs reached past the 20-foot mark to take his first X Games gold medal on Day 2 at X Games Los Angeles 2013.
Reynolds: BMX Street practice
Since the introduction of BMX Street to X Games in 2006, no other BMXer aside from Garrett Reynolds has claimed gold in the discipline. Reynolds will attempt to defend his perfect record on Day 3 of X Games Los Angeles with moves like this 360 to fakie.
Kerley: BMX Street practice
If there was ever one BMX rider capable of unseating Garrett Reynolds from the top spot in BMX Street, it's San Diego's Chad Kerley. Although Kerley is a Nike teammate and friend to Reynolds, his command of technical street riding could be seen as a threat to Reynolds' perfect X Games gold medal record in BMX Street.
Gonzalez: SLS prelims
David Gonzalez might not have made it out of prelims to the finals of Street League at X Games Los Angeles, but he's fun to watch skateboard nonetheless.
Williams: Speed & Style
Before Blake "Bilko" Williams hit a mysterious invisible force field in the final race of Moto X Speed & Style to take silver behind Nate Adams, he bested Matt Buyten in the semifinals with stylish moves like this.
Doran: Gymkhana GRID
Liam Doran practices for the newest X Games event, set to make its debut on Saturday: Gymkhana GRID.
X Games L.A.: Day 1
X Games L.A. kicked off Thursday with a full roster of events, including SLS Select, Women's Street Skateboarding (where Park phenom Alana Smith, pictured here, showed off her street skills), Skateboard Big Air and Moto X Best Whip and Freestyle.
Decenzo: SLS Select
X Games Los Angeles kicked off Thursday morning with SLS Select, where Ryan Decenzo qualified in the top position and earned himself a spot in the main Street League at X Games event on Friday.
Baker: Women's Skateboard Street
Lacey Baker is proving to be Leticia Bufoni's toughest competition in Women's Skateboard Street, coming in second both at X Games Foz do Iguaçu in April as well as here in Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon.
Bufoni: Women's Skateboard Street
Leticia Bufoni claimed her sixth X Games medal and her third gold in 2013 with a win in Women's Skateboard Street on Thursday, following her Street win in Foz do Iguaçu and her Real Women video contest win in Barcelona.
Higashino: Moto X Freestyle practice
Because of bad-weather cancellations, Moto X Freestyle riders weren't able to compete in the past two X Games, which means there were no opportunities for challengers to unseat two-time defending champ Taka Higashino from his gold-medal podium position until this week at X Games Los Angeles.
You haven't really gotten the full experience if you haven't attended an X Games event live and had a chance to walk around the X Fest village to take in the sights.
Smith: SLS Select
Evan Smith didn't get the top qualifying spot in SLS Select on Thursday, so we won't be seeing him in Street League at X Games on Friday, but he came close. He definitely was the crowd favorite.
Sloan: Skateboard Big Air
Even though Elliot Sloan has been competing in Skateboard Big Air since 2009, he didn't take home his first medal until X Games Foz do Iguau this past April. The 25-year-old has medaled in every Big Air event in 2013, but none of them were gold -- until Thursday in L.A.
Burnquist: Skateboard Big Air
Bob Burnquist has three Skateboard Big Air golds from this year and a record-setting 25 career X Games medals, but he fell hard and smacked his face on the quarterpipe at X Games Los Angeles. He kept competing, despite the injury, but he was not able to take the top spot and had to settle for bronze Thursday. He was later diagnosed with a broken nose.
Like the pro athletes who travel from all over the world to compete at this event, X Games MUSIC performers also hail from different parts of the globe. Electronic dance music DJ/producer Madeon, who headlined Thursday night's showcase at the Irwindale Events Center, calls Nantes, France, home.
Golden: Moto X Best Whip
For Vicki Golden, Thursday was going to be historic no matter what, but as the first woman to compete in Moto X Best Whip, she also took home a bronze medal in the fan voting. "It felt good to be out there, and it didn't make any difference that I was the only female," Golden said.
Jones: Moto X Freestyle
Adam Jones' 90.00 on his second run in Moto X Freestyle tied Taka Higashino for the best score of the night, but because of the tiebreaker, Jones would have to settle for silver. It was Jones' sixth X Games medal and fifth in Freestyle.
Eaton: Skateboard Big Air practice
Board's-eye view of the X Games Skateboard Big Air MegaRamp, as seen from the top of the roll-in and bottom of pre-teen phenom Jagger Eaton's board.