Medal Recap | X Games California 2023
Monster Energy Riders Claim Total of 23 Medals (7 Gold, 6 Silver, 10 Bronze) at X Games 2023
The best Summer X Games ever is officially a wrap! Monster Energy congratulates its BMX, Moto X, and Skateboard athletes on history-making performances at X Games California 2023. During the event showcased in front of live crowds in Southern California, the world-class team claimed a total of 23 X Games medals (seven gold, six silver, and 10 bronze) and set new records in the process. The 68th edition of X Games featured 135 elite athletes from 20 countries competing in 21 medal events for 63 medals across BMX, motocross, and skateboarding disciplines. During the first stadium-sized Summer X Games in three years, more than 52,000 live spectators experienced the return of X Games in Ventura this weekend.
Here’s how the Monster Energy team performed at X Games California 2023:
The Monster Energy Team’s medal run kicked off with Skateboard and BMX MegaPark competitions on Monday, July 17, at the private ‘SloanYard’ facility in Vista, California. Now in its second year, the Monster Energy BMX MegaPark discipline featured eight of the world’s best BMX riders in a 30-minute jam session. When push came to shove, 32-year-old Jaie Toohey from Lake Munmorah, Australia put together a perfect run for a strong bronze-medal finish: double backflip over the gap, tuck no-hander on the tall quarter pipe, nothing bikeflip the second gap, and triple tailwhip the final quarter earned Toohey third place. Toohey now owns four X Games medals (two silver, two bronze).
An action-packed day at the Sloanyard concluded with the Monster Energy Skateboard MegaPark contest. Defending gold medalist and newly minted Monster Energy rider Edouard Damestoy from Bordeaux, France sealed the win on his first round: Indy 720 over the big gap, kickflip Indy 540 on the quarter pipe, kickflip Indy 360 over the gap, and frontside rodeo 540 frontside grab on the final quarter pipe netted Damestoy 91.66 points and the gold; his third at X Games. Plus, the Frenchman was not done at X Games 2023!
Damestoy was joined on the Monster Energy Skate MegaPark podium by 23-year-old Tom Schaar from Malibu, California. Recovered from injury, Schaar put down 720 tailgrab over the gap, alley-oop backside melon 540 on the big quarter pipe, varial kickflip Indy 360 the second gap, and kickflip body varial 540 on the final quarter pipe for 85.33 points and the bronze medal. Plus, Schaar had plans to take home more medals!
On Friday, the focus shifted to the Ventura County Fairgrounds & Events Center for a full roster of BMX, Moto X, and Skateboard competitions in front of a sold-out crowd. Starting the spectacle on a high note, BMX Street final saw X Games history unfold before the lively crowd: Covering the entire course with technical tricks and creative transfers, 28-year-old Kevin Peraza from Tucson, Arizona earned 87.00 points and his first X Games gold medal in the discipline. He made history as the first BMX athlete to claim gold in three disciplines (BMX Park, Street, and Dirt). Talk about a historic day at X Games California! Also rising to the podium, 27-year-old Boyd Hilder from Queensland, Australia, earned the silver medal in an elite field of riders. Hilder now owns two X Games medals (one gold, one silver).
The action commenced with the Pacifico Men’s Skateboard Vert final featuring never-been-done tricks and variations. As the trick levels escalated, 27-year-old Japanese style icon Moto Shibata from Osaka put together alley-oop front foot impossible lien air, alley-oop McTwist, backside crossbone, kickflip McTwist, slob air to fakie, fakie to fakie 540 tailgrab, frontside Caballerial Madonna, alley-oop lipslide to Smith grind, backside air fakie and a fakie stalefish 720 on the last wall for 89.33 points and third place. And as it turned out, Shibata would use his shot at raking in more medals at X Games California 2023.
As the grand finale of the night, the Moto X Best Trick final stoked the crowd with the next level of freestyle motocross tricks. In another boundary-pushing showcase, 31-year-old Jackson Strong from Lockhart, Australia, unveiled an aerial trick never landed in competition before: A frontflip Cliffhanger, locking his legs under the handlebar while flying hands-free in a forward flip rotation, earned Strong a score of 96.00 points and the silver medal. Strong now owns 15 X Games medals (seven gold, five silver, three bronze).
Saturday kicked off at X Games California with an upset victory in BMX Dirt: In his first X Games appearance, 20-year-old Monster Army rider Brady Baker from Toms River, New Jersey came out of the grueling elimination round as the top qualifier. And on his final attempt of the day, the rookie put down triple tailwhip backflip, barspin cashroll, truck driver while spinning the bars the long way, and cash roll downwhip on the last hit for 93.00 points and the gold medal. Who’s the rookie now?
The Monster Energy team’s medal run continued in the Monster Energy Men’s Skateboard Park contest. Reminding the pack that he’s back, Tom Schaar posted a flawless run, including transfer from the mini ramp into the vert bowl, kickflip Indy the kicker, head-high backside 540 the deep end, kickflip Indy fakie, Caballerial disaster revert, and half-Cab blunt for 85.33 points and the bronze medal. Schaar now owns 11 X Games medals (one gold, four silver, six bronze).
The progression continued in the BMX Dirt Best Trick event, with 19-year-old Monster Army Rider Kaden Stone from Corona, California, putting down a trick for the history books. On his third attempt, Stone broke into the top three by throwing down a never-been-done trick: A massive 1440 rotation over the first jump earned Stone the silver medal as his first X Games medal in his second appearance. Nothing was the same!
More historic feats unfolded when the Pacifico Women’s Skateboard Vert contest returned for the first time since 2011. The rider to beat was no other than 13-year-old Arisa Trew from Palm Beach, Australia, known for recently landing the first 720 aerial by a woman skater. In another historic first, Trew packed together a run featuring McTwist, frontside nosebone, body varial McTwist, lien varial air, backside air to fakie, switch frontside air, fakie frontside 360, and the never-been-landed in competition fakie 720 mute aerial for 90.33 points and the gold medal. Plus, Trew had more medals in her (near) future in Ventura! Trew was joined on the podium by 16-year-old Monster Army recruit Asahi Kaihara from Osaka, Japan claiming bronze as her first X Games podium.
Double podium spots for the team continued in the BMX Park contest on Saturday. With Kevin Peraza clutching the top spot, last attempts were the time for 28-year-old Jose Torres from Cordoba, Argentina, to shine: Putting it all on the line, Torres blasted high airs and tech transfers including tailwhip out of mini-ramp onto the roof, barspin drop in off roof, superman seat grab, triple tailwhip, 720 whip, flip whip to barspin for 95.33 points and the gold medal. Torres now owns two X Games medals (one gold, one bronze). Ever the sportsman, Peraza welcomed his BMX Park silver medal and still had more in store for the crowd in Ventura!
The biggest news of the Men’s Skateboard Street Best Trick final? Clearly, the return to podium shape of no other than 28-year-old Nyjah Huston from Laguna Beach, California. After battling a string of injuries in 2022, Huston stepped back on the podium by posting a technical highlight: A clean backside kickflip to nosegrind on the grind box above the volcano earned Huston the bronze medal in the no-holds-barred session. Huston now owns 21 X Games medals (13 gold, five silver, three bronze).
As the final motocross event at X Games 2023, Moto X Best Whip put stylish motocross aerials – called ‘whips’ – front and center. In a spectacular showcase of style and personal finesse, defending gold medalist Julien Vanstippen from Ophain, Belgium, demonstrated his altitude and style with some of the biggest turndown whips of the contest to earn the bronze medal in Ventura. Vanstippen now owns three X Games medals (one gold, two bronze).
Sunday in Ventura unfolded with another win for the team: The Monster Energy Women’s Skateboard Park event concluded with 13-year-old Arisa Trew from Palm Beach, Australia, showcasing her Park riding skills for her second X Games gold medal of the weekend! After already securing the win on her first run, Trew insisted on raising her score by landing body varial McTwist and switch melon air the kicker for 91.00 points and a dominant victory. Watch out for this young star! Trew now owns two X Games gold, both earned in Ventura this weekend.
The BMX Park Best Trick final on Sunday was the moment for Kevin Peraza to cement his legacy as the BMX MVP: After already securing two X Games medals this weekend, the all-round ripper found the trick to rule them all: Popping up on the narrow pergola bridge seven feet above the deck, Peraza proceeded to transfer into the bowl below via 360 whip drop to stoke the crowd and claim the gold medal. Peraza now owns 8 X Games medals (five gold, two silver, and one bronze). Also rising to the podium in the heavy Best Trick session, 29-year-old Daniel Sandoval from Corona, California earned bronze with a heavy 360 double whip to down whip over the center kicker. Sandoval now owns seven X Games medals (two gold, one silver, and four bronze).
Sunday also saw 30-year-old Kelvin Hoefler from São Paulo, Brazil, clinch another podium spot in Men’s Skateboard Street. On his third and final attempt, the Olympic silver medalist pulled a kickflip backside lipslide the big rail, backside Smith grind the volcano ledge, 360 flip the Euro Gap, Caballerial tailslide fakie the Hubba ledge, kickflip crooked the volcano ledge, nollie frontside boardslide the rail and kickflip backside tailslide fakie the tall rail for 90.66 points and the silver medal. Hoefler now owns seven X Games medals (two gold, three silver, and two bronze).
Saving the best for last, the massive halfpipe inside Ventura County Fairgrounds & Events Center provided the backdrop for the Skateboard Vert Best Trick session. In an elite field starring skateboard innovator Tony Hawk, 27-year-old Moto Shibata from Osaka, Japan clinched the silver medal by landing a difficult alley-oop kickflip McTwist. Shibata now owns seven X Games medals (one gold, five silver, one bronze). The Japanese icon was joined on the podium by 26-year-old Monster Energy rider Edouard Damestoy with a never-been-done trick: On the last attempt of the entire contest, Damestoy put down a frontside rodeo 720 aerial for the history books… and for the bronze medal! Damestoy now owns four X Games medals (three gold, one bronze).
And that’s a wrap! Congratulations to the Monster Energy team on bringing home 23 medals at X Games California 2023 (seven gold, six silver, 10 bronze). Way to Unleash the Beast! Special thanks to the entire team at X Games for once again making action sports history and bringing back live stadium crowds for X Games California 2023!