2009 marks the 15th year of the X Games, the world's largest extreme sports competition. Over the years there have been many world records set here, including Tony Hawk's 900 degree spin, the first time this skateboard feat had ever been accomplished in public, and Travis Pastrana's double backflip in motocross.
2009 promises to offer similar highlights, although only time will tell how many records will be broken this time around. The 2009 X Games takes place in Los Angeles from July 30 to August 2, 2009, with the majority of events taking place in or near Staples Center. The X Fest music and entertainment festival will coincide with the X Games, as it has for several years. Like always, the games will be televised on ESP.
This year's events include competitions in skateboarding, rally car acing, motocross, BMX, and surfing, as top athletes from around the world show off their latest moves. This year, there are two new events joining the X Games. They are Skateboard Big Air Rail Jam and Skateboard Park Legends. Skateboard Big Air Rail Jam is similar to the Big Air ramp competition, with an added 20-foot long rail after the ramp. Expect to see big tricks on this rail. Skateboard Park Legends is a concrete skateboard park competition in which top skateboarding icons will be taking part, including Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero.
In addition to the two new competitions, two events have been renamed for X Games 15. Skateboard and BMX Freestyle SuperPark will be renamed to Skateboard Park and BMX Freestyle Park. Moto X Racing will be called Super X. In this event, you'll see racer James Stewart, already well-known in the sport as the winner of the 2009 Supercross Championship and other top events, compete in his first X Games.
Over 200 athletes plan to take part in X Games 15. Athletes taking part in the X Games must be invited to compete. This year's invited athletes, as always, include the top names in their respective sports. For skateboarding, expect to see Bob Burnquist, four time X Games Skateboard Vert gold medalist. He is the two-time defending gold medalist in the Big Air competition, and is one of only three athletes this year to have competed in every X Games competition to date.
Another X Games athlete to have appeared at every X Games competition since the first competition held in 1995 is Rune Glifberg, who will be competing in the Skateboard Park and Vert competitions. He is a nine-time medalist at the X Games, and will be defending his gold medal in the Skateboard Park competition.
Ryan Sheckler is a two-time gold medalist in the X Games Skateboard Street competition, and will be defending his gold medal this year. Skateboarder Elissa Streamer will be defending her gold metal in the Women's Skateboard Street competition; she is a four-time gold medalist in this competition.
Popular X-Games veteran Travis Pastrana will return in Rally Car racing. He is the current Rally Car Racing defending gold medalist, and is well-known within the sports of motocross and rally car racing for his stunts.