X Games

50 Most Influential People in Action Sports

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22: Joe "Butcher" Kowalski

Photograph By Chris Marshall

Joe Butcher Kowalski burst onto the BMX scene in the mid-'90s, first as a dirt rider sponsored by Hoffman Bikes. He quickly expanded into skatepark and street riding. Take a look at any BMX Street rider's grinds currently competing in the X Games, and there's a good chance Butcher did it first on a rough ledge somewhere in Allentown, Pa.