Athletes Remember The Best Of X
A Few Of My Favorite Things
When an X Games happens every few weeks for seven months, it's tough to distinguish Munich's moments from Foz's feats. To help us filter the noise, we enlisted the people who remember X best -- the competitors. Here are some of their favorite moments from 2013.
Jamie Bestwick -- BMX Vert
"I had a Barcelona shirt made with my name and No. 8 on the back, but I couldn't wear it," said a superstitious Jamie Bestwick, who nevertheless nabbed the ocho -- his eighth consecutive BMX Vert gold -- in Barcelona. No other athlete at X Games has ever won more than six events in a row, leaving Bestwick in a class all his own. "I'm at a loss for words, and it was an honor to ride in such a historic event," he said.
Mitchie Brusco -- Skateboard Big Air
"I figured there was no better place to do it than here," Brusco said in Barcelona, with all the nonchalance of a 16-year-old, after stomping the first 1080 ever landed in competition on a full-size MegaRamp. "I mean, all the big stuff goes down at X Games."
Lizzie Armanto -- Women's Skateboard Park
"I don't even know what to say," Armanto said, after taking a victory lap in the debut of Women's Skateboard Park in Barcelona. "I'm all shaky and nervous. It's just crazy that I'm here in the first place."
Libor Podmol -- Moto X Step Up
"I didn't expect anything like that," Czech rider Libor Podmol said, pushing the bar to 29 feet to best longtime Step Up rulers Matt Buyten and Ronnie Renner in Munich. "I'm always happy for any medal and I was just super happy to even get the invitation because all my life I've wanted to ride at X Games. To get the gold here is a dream come true."
Taylor Robert -- Men's Enduro X
"My first X Games medal and it's a gold, so not a bad way to get 'em started," Robert said. "Mike [Brown] and Taddy [Blasuziak] are just amazing competitors and Taddy's probably won 90 percent of all endurocross races ever put on, so it's an amazing feeling to be up there on a podium with those guys."
Chris Cole -- Street League Skateboarding
"I feel like I doubly won, because it's X Games and Street League together," said Cole, after beating out Paul Rodriguez and Luan Oliveira to win his fourth Skateboard Street gold in Munich. "Actually, I triple won, because Paul and Luan really inspire me in the way they skate and the way they do their thing and deal with the pressure. To be up there with those guys makes it that much sweeter."
Marie Martinod -- Women's Ski SuperPipe
Martinod had the biggest comeback of the year. She won Women's Ski SuperPipe at X Games Tignes after a six-year hiatus from competition. "My coach Greg [Guenet] was saying, 'Can you hear those people shouting at the bottom just for you?'" Martinod said. "I wanted to ski the best I could, no matter what would have been the result."
Henrik Harlaut -- Men's Ski Big Air
"I had that trick in my mind for the past month but wasn't really planning on trying it unless I had to," Harlaut said of the brand-new triple cork he debuted at X Games Aspen. "Tanner Hall, Taylor Seaton and Vincent Gagnier were up there [at the top of the course] and they motivated me. Tanner was like, 'Yo dog, you gotta make history, let's do it.'"
Nick Goepper -- Men's Ski Slopestyle
"I had been dreaming of that moment since I was a little kid," said Geopper, who won his first gold medal in Men's Ski Slopestyle at X Games Aspen in 2013. "I got off the phone with my mom and she said, 'Remember when you were really young and you said I want to win the X Games?' And she said, 'I never thought it would happen. And now you're here.' It was the best day of my life."
Laia Sanz -- Women's Enduro X
"I came here for my first time and I knew that taking a medal would be really difficult," Sanz said, in the understatement of the year, after dethroning previously undefeated Enduro X rider Maria Forsberg in Foz do Iguau. "I didn't hope to win, so I'm really, really happy. It's an incredible thing."
Taka Higashino -- Moto X Freestyle
"I feel like it's not true, like I'm still sleeping," Higashino said in a breathless podium interview after the Moto X Freestyle competition in Foz do Iguau. "It's crazy. This is fantastic. Obrigado," he said, bowing in thanks to his new Brazilian fans.
Darren Berrecloth -- Mountain Bike Slopestyle
"Having big wheels in X was a monumental step forward for our beloved sport," said Berrecloth, one of the pioneers of slopestyle mountain biking, which made its debut at X Games Munich. "I truly won't forget it."
Nyjah Huston -- Street League Skateboarding
"Going into the first one I always want to win it so bad, and I feel like I've got so much pressure on myself," Huston said of the gold medal he won in Street League at X Games in Foz. "So winning the first one is always the best thing for me." Huston won every X Games Street League contest he entered this year -- Foz, Barcelona and L.A. An injury sidelined him for the Munich event.
Daniel Dhers -- BMX Park
"For me, it was the fans that attended all the events," said Dhers, shown here after winning gold in Munich. "Every country we went to, you could see how much the fans enjoyed having the X Games there. It showed how big action sports is getting worldwide." In all, more than 600,000 people came over the course of the X Games' six-stop global tour in 2013.
Iouri "I-Pod" Podladtchikov -- Snowboard SuperPipe
"As a part of X Games I wanted to be part of that movement, of just going nuts and trying something new," said Podladtchikov, who landed a new trick he called the YOLO flip in Men's Snowboard SuperPipe at X Games Tignes. He landed the YOLO flip on his fourth hit, then crashed on his final hit, ultimately finishing just off the podium in fourth place.
Justin Brayton -- Men's Moto X Racing
"The best memory for me is obviously just winning that gold medal," said Brayton of his first X Games win this year in Moto X Racing. "It's awesome to come here and see all of the other athletes that are the very, very best at what they do. We hang out in the athlete lounge and at X Games events and they treat their athletes so first-class. That's definitely awesome to come here and know you're going to be treated like that."
Liam Doran -- RallyCross
"Winning the race in Munich on three wheels is something I'll remember forever," said Doran. The RallyCross racer held off Ken Block with a flat left rear tire in a rain-soaked race at X Games Munich. "I don't think it's ever been done in rally or any form of auto racing that I know of."
Garret Reynolds -- BMX Street
"My favorite moment of the L.A. X Games was seeing Chad Kerley finally win. It was awesome," said Reynolds, pictured on the left with Kerley on top of the podium and Jeremiah Smith on the right. "I'm psyched for him. You see how happy that kid is? That makes me smile."
Kiara Fontanesi -- Women's Moto X Racing
"This is the first year for me at X Games, so everything is new and it's a really good experience," said Fontanesi, who won the bronze medal in Women's Moto X. "I hope to come back again."
Morgan Wade -- BMX Big Air
"I've got one of every color, so I kind of liked all the stops this year," said Wade. The BMX Big Air and Park rider from Texas won gold in Big Air in Los Angeles. But he also got the silver medal in Munich and the bronze in Foz do Iguau to complete his X Games medal trifecta.
Bucky Lasek -- Skateboard Vert
"It's the grand slam," said Lasek, after going four-for-four in Skateboard Vert in 2013. "It tops the scale for my career right here. Best year ever." Lasek won gold in Foz do Iguau, Barcelona, Munich and Los Angeles.