Only a few days left until the world’s biggest action sports spectacle kicks off in the Twin Cities! Monster Energy’s team of world-class athletes is ready to compete at X Games Minneapolis 2019 next week. Supported by Monster Energy as the official drink sponsor for the sixth consecutive year, Summer X Games will stoke spectators and international audiences from August 1-4, at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis.
The premier action sports, music and festival experience is now in its third consecutive year in the Twin Cities. In 2018, over 119,000 spectators attended X Games on-site in Minneapolis and live broadcasts reached more than 500 million homes and viewers in 192 countries and territories.
Raising the bar, X Games Minneapolis 2019 will showcase 170 elite athletes from across the globe competing in Skate, BMX, Moto X and Flat Track racing disciplines for a total of 50 medals. This year’s roster of competitions also includes the first Adaptive Skateboard Park event with eight adaptive athletes competing on the park course and a Special Olympics Unified BMX Race.
Dedicated to showcasing only the highest level of action sports, X Games Minneapolis 2019 is once again an invite-only event reserved for multiple-time X Games medalists and upcoming pros. Visit monsterenergy.com for a full list of invitees and keep an eye on the following key athletes and events:
The weekend’s skateboard action will kick off on Thursday night with Skateboard Vert on the halfpipe at Downtown East Commons in front of a huge crowd. Watch out for Monster Energy team rider Sam Beckett from Norwich, Great Britain, who earned his first X Games gold at Austin 2016 and also made history as the first UK-skateboarder to win X Games gold.
On Friday, the Women’s Skateboard Park competition will see Lizzie Armanto facing the global elite of female park terrain skateboarders.
No stranger to X Games competitions, Armanto took gold in her X Games debut in Barcelona in 2013 andclaimed silver in 2016. The 26-year-old from Santa Monica, California, achieved a historic feat in 2018 as the first female skateboarder to complete the legendary ‘Loop of Death’ obstacle. After recently claiming second place in the Dew Tour Long Beach Olympics qualifiers in June, Armanto is coming into X Games Minneapolis as a top contender.
All eyes will be on Monster Energy’s Trey Wood in Saturday’s Skateboard Big Air event: The 18-year-old sent a shock to the system by claiming Big Air gold with a never-been-done trick at X Games Shanghai 2019 in June. Wood was a mere 11 years old when he first competed in Big Air at X Games Los Angeles in 2012 and will also enter as a podium threat in this year’s Men’s Skateboard Park discipline. Wood will joined on the massive Mega Ramp at U.S. Bank Stadium by six-time X Games gold medalist and Big Air trailblazer Jake Brown in his 24th X Games appearance.
In Saturday’s Skateboard Street event, the man to beat is defending gold medalist and Monster Energy rider Nyjah Huston. With 15 X Games medals (ten gold, three silver, two bronze) under his belt, Huston is headed to Minneapolis on a gold medal streak after taking the win at X Games Minneapolis 2018, Sydney 2018 and Shanghai 2019. One of Huston’s toughest competitors is his teammate and Brazilian tech skating wunderkind Kelvin Hoefler from São Paulo. After barging onto the X Games scene with back-to-back gold in Minneapolis (2017) and Norway (2018), Hoefler is a certified podium threat and looking to improve on last year’s bronze medal. Also, look out for Thrasher Magazine Skater of the Year Ishod Wair, whose unpredictable street skills earned him a bronze medal in 2016, as well as Canada’s Matt Berger, a top competitor on the Street League Skateboarding circuit looking for his first X Games podium. Next, prepare for bangers when Wair and Berger bring their high-tech skateboarding skills to Sunday’s Men’s Skateboard Street Best Trick.
Rounding out the weekend’s skateboard action in Minneapolis on Sunday, Men’s Skateboard Park will see Monster Energy’s Tom Schaar battling the world elite of park skateboarding to improve on last year’s bronze medal. With eight X Games medals to his name, the 19-year-old has been competing at X Games since 2012 and evolved from child prodigy to one of park riding’s leading innovators.
Over in the BMX segment, the action commences on Thursday with the first Special Olympics Unified BMX Race at X Fest at U.S. Bank Stadium. Each of the ten two-person teams will consist of one professional action sports athlete and one Special Olympics action sports athlete. Joining the first-ever Special Olympics Unified BMX Race will be Monster Energy team riders Andy Buckworth, Kyle Baldock, Kevin Peraza, and Dakota Roche.
Also tune in for BMX Vert on Thursday night, when Jamie Bestwick returns to Minneapolis to reclaim the top spot: After settling for silver in 2017 and 2018, the winningest BMXer in X Games history is back with a vengeance and ready to add to his unmatched track record of 14 gold medals, 4 silver and 1 bronze. The stakes are high, as a 15th gold medal would break Bestwick’s tie with Dave Mirra for most X Games BMX victories and put him on a level with Shaun White for most X Games gold in history.
Friday’s BMX Big Air is all about Monster Energy rider James Foster looking to score a threepeat after claiming back-to-back gold at X Games Minneapolis 2017 and 2018. Last year, the 33-year-old BMX innovator made history by landing a never-done-before quadruple downside tailwhip on the quarterpipe and is ready to stoke the crowd with his massive bag of tricks. Also gunning for a Big Air podium spot is Australian BMX legend Andy Buckworth, one of the few riders on the planet with a BMX double frontflip and a certified X Games Big Air bronze medalist.
The BMX action will peak on Saturday with three heavily contested events. Leading the charge, Men’s BMX Park will see six-time X Games gold medalist and Australian all-round talent Kyle Baldock go head-to-head with the world’s best park riders. Baldock, who took Park bronze in Minneapolis and BMX Dirt silver in Sydney 2018, is on a mission this year and will be competing in four BMX events. He will be joined in BMX Park by two-time gold medalist Kevin Peraza, who is back after closely missing the podium last year. Also bringing the heat is two-time X Games medalist Pat Casey who is also mining for precious metal in Dave Mirra’s BMX Park Best Trick, where he took bronze in 2017.
In the BMX Street event, upcoming street stylist Alex Donnachie is a top contender after scoring a surprise victory at X Games Sydney 2018 that made him the first Scottish athlete ever to medal at X Games. Donnachie will be facing heat from Monster Energy teammate and next-level BMX street stylist Lewis Mills, who claimed silver at X Games Sydney, as well as award-winning innovator Dakota Roche looking for his fourth medal.
Monster Energy heads into the fierce BMX Dirt event with a stacked team, spearheaded by Kyle Baldock with three career gold medals in the discipline. Also don’t count out 2017’s Dirt winner and Monster Energy rider Colton Walker, who recently took home BMX Dirt bronze at X Games Sydney 2018. Also jumping into the fray, two-time silver medalist Ben Wallace wants to take home his first gold while James Foster, who claimed Dirt bronze in 2016, is bringing his crossover skills to the battle.
Now, let’s jump into the weekend’s freestyle motocross action. The roar of engines begins on Thursday night with the Moto X Step Up final where riders are looking to post the highest motocross air over a steep kicker and crossbar into a banked landing. The man to watch will be Monster Energy rider and Australian motocross powerhouse Jarryd McNeil, who has won the event for the last three years in a row. McNeil also has a chance to make history in Minneapolis: If he earns two gold medals at this Summer X Games, the 27-year-old Australian will tie Travis Pastrana for most all-time victories in Moto X history with nine overall gold medals. In order to achieve this historic feat, Jarryd McNeil also has a good shot at taking the top spot in Friday’s Moto X Quarterpipe High Air. Prepare for an epic showdown, as last year’s winner Jarryd McNeil is back on his A-game after closely missing the top spot at X Games Shanghai 2019.
Also on Saturday, Moto X Best Trick will up the ante when five-time X Games Best Trick gold medalist Jackson Strong comes in fresh off a recent win at X Games Shanghai 2019. After missing X Games Sydney 2018 and Aspen 2019 with injuries, ‘Jacko’ has been training on his private compound and stoked audiences with this year’s boundary-pushing television feature ‘Jackson Strong’s Moto X Dirt Part 2’. He’s not the only Monster Energy rider headed into X Games Minneapolis with some tricks up his sleeve: Eight-time X Games medalist Josh Sheehan – the first rider to land a triple backflip on a motorbike – will be competing in both Moto X Freestyle and Moto X Best Trick next to three-time gold medalist and FMX innovator Taka Higashino. Also watch out for Monster Energy’s Harry Bink, who pushed the boundaries of the sport by landing the world’s first-ever rock solid front flip, but has yet to medal at X Games. Will this be the year?
The motorsports action will conclude on Sunday, when the Harley Davidson Hooligan Racing event rewards the fastest riders on race-modified Harley-Davidson street motorcycles. Look out for Monster Energy’s Nick Leonetti in this rough-and-tumble race for first place.
ESPN and ABC will televise a combined 18 hours of live X Games Minneapolis 2019 coverage. Eight-and-a-half additional hours of event coverage will be streamed live on the X Games Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages to fans in the United States. X Games Minneapolis coverage will also be accessible via the ESPN App to viewers who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
Next to history-making athletic feats, fans will enjoy a weekend of musical performances by Diplo, Incubus, P.O.S, SWMRS, The Blind Shake, Chevy Metal, and Wu-Tang Clan. As an immersive experience for the entire family, X Fest will host concessions, sponsor activations, street skate course, and athlete meet-and-greets in the Medtronic Plaza at U.S. Bank Stadium, supplemented by installations from local artists. Also at X Fest, Monster Energy will host athlete autograph signings, brand ambassadors, product sampling and an outdoor lounge. Fans also have a chance to meet Monster Energy athletes and personalities including snowboarders Chloe Kim, Jamie Anderson, and Sage Kotsenburg, as well as FB Live commentators like Luke ‘The Dingo’ Trembath and Jeremy ‘Twitch’ Stenberg.
Following X Games Minneapolis 2019, ABC will show four hours of programming on Saturday, August 10, as part of the World of X Games series as well as a one-hour Best of Show featuring athletic and musical highlights on Saturday, August 17.