Dispatches from the Summer X Games
Day One: The scene is set for a weekend of adrenaline-fueled competition
LOS ANGELES -- The magic wand of X the Games has once again done its trick, transforming downtown Los Angeles into X Games central. The scaffolding's been set, the concrete's been poured, the dirt's been packed and stickers are stacked a mile high for swag-hungry fans. It's go time for X Games 17, and for the first time in the history of the event, all the venues are within strolling distance of one another. Fans and athletes can easily float from event to event, watching Travis Pastrana throw a double backflip in motocross freestyle one minute and Alexis Sablone defend her gold medal in women's street skate the next.
It's a nice change from shuttling between events and venues of X Games past and having to navigate 15 miles of Los Angeles traffic patterns between L.A. Live and the Home Depot Center just to catch a glimpse of Bob Burnquist on the Mega Ramp or Ken Block battling Brian Deegan in Rally Car. And, as it turns out, this new festival feel is bringing together the entire X community, summer and winter alike. Wandering through X-Fest, you're just as likely to see Winter X snowboarders Kevin Pearce and Gretchen Bleiler as you are summertime legends like Tony Hawk and surfer Bethany Hamilton. Now that the venues are puzzled together and everything's in place, let the magic and mayhem of X Games 17 begin.