In the summer of 1995 the Entertainment and Sports Programing Network, ESPN, decided to capitalize on a breed of athletes from the X and Y generation. These athletes were taking part in activities that the common population perceived as having a high level of inherent danger. Soon to be labeled as extreme or action sports these activities often included high rates of speed, physical exertion, and specialized gear. Sports that qualify as being considered “extreme” are debatable but some that share the characteristics of the label include skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, Snocross, motocross, BMX and many others, all of which can be seen in competition during the X Games.
What started as just a past time for many has given birth to one of the most exciting sporting events of the modern day. The inception of the X Games came in the summer of 1995 and held on to the original label as the Extreme Games. After 1995 the name was shortened to the X Games and has been growing in popularity ever since. The Summer X Games showcase athletes competing in several events including Motocross, Rally, Skateboarding, BMX, and until 2005, Inline Skating. Names like Dave Mirra, Tony Hawk, Bob Burnquist, Shawn White, Travis Pastrana, and Bucky Lasek have paved the way for extreme athletes and their creative moves.
Another change came about in 1997 with the birth of the Winter X Games which played host to the popular winter extreme sports. Identical to the Summer X Games the Winter X Games stages events like Skiing, Snowboarding, and Snocross or Snowmobile.
After 11 years in the Summer X Games spotlight, Los Angels will bid adieu to the extreme sporting event as it heads to Austin, Texas. The 1600 acre Circuit of the Americas will become one of six hosts to the Global X Games tour starting in 2014. Austin became the front runner in a running between Chicago, Detroit, and Charlotte as replacements for L.A. and gained the overall vote due to the cities vibrant spirit and potential for a "festival feel" at COTA.
X Games FAQs
What is the format of the X Games?
Each event in the Summer and Winter X Games can be broken down into sub-events that include best trick, big air, freestyle, vert, park, street, and super pipe. Some of the X Games most exhilarating moments have come during the best trick category. This event allows the athletes to show his creativity and set themselves apart from the rest of the group. Like the Tony Hawk 900, or the double back flip by Travis Pastrana and Shawn Whites ever changing arsenal of moves. These are the kinds of events that change the sport and open doors to new styles and manoeuvres.
What is the best way to get to COTA?
The Circuit of the Americas grounds are located at 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd in Ausin, Texas just of the SH 130 Toll Road. There are two entrances to the grounds. Traffic coming from Elroy Road will need to turn right on Cota Blvd and traffic from FM 812 will need to turn left on COTA Blvd.
Where should I park at the Austin X Games?
The Circuit of the Americas has multiple on-site parking lots for up to 22,000. Guests are encouraged to purchase parking in advance but may be purchased upon entry to each show. Premium lots include lots B, C, and D. Standard lots are A, E, F, G and there is overflow parking in lots J & K. If you are biking to COTA you may use the H lot. The Club VIP parking lot is located in the support paddock of the infield behind turn 13. Access to this lot is located at Tunnel 2 off Circuit of the Americas Blvd and has direct access to the amphitheater via a pedestrian bridge. Taxis, Limousines, and Buses are also permitted to enter Circuit of the Americas Blvd. to drop off and pick up guests at lot H.