X Games – why? How come?

Madis Kalvet
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Photo: thrivesports.com

It's some twenty years plus that X Games stir extreme sports fans around the globe. The American invention has crept under Estonian skin thanks to our girl the freestyle skier Kelly Sildaru this time invited to Aspen, Colorado for these final days of January. But how did the thing come into being?

Glancing back, the US media says it was in the beginning of the 90ies as the youth was falling out of love with the traditional football and baseball.

Rather, they were drawn to hanging out at supermarket parking lots with skateboards and stuff. Doing the tricks. Impressing others (hopefully).

Naturally, some saw a way to make money.

Grabbing the bull by the horns, TV channel ESPN in 1993 splashed out money for games for these young guys.

A group of people worked with the concept and for April 12th 1994 the initial summer extreme sports games were proclaimed on Rhode Island.

Soon, to sound better and shorter, the name was cut to X Games.

It turned wintry in 1997, in Big Bear Lake, California. All kinds of crazy skidding and climbing on ice and snow.

Thanks to X Games, several events have entered the mainstream, to the very Olympics. Even so, X Games as roots is esteemed as The Event.

And that’s where we find most of the money and the media.