In early August I was fortunate enough to have been invited to Summer X Games in Minneapolis MN. I was asked to come out to the event by the X Games family which is a huge honor in my eyes. While there, X Games set up a number of poster signings for me to attend but, most importantly X Games recently partnered with the Special Olympics and organized a “Unified BMX Event”. The Unified BMX event consisted of the respected athletes competing and of course the mentally disabled kids as well as adults. Jack Mitrani (X Games Host) made a cameo appearance shedding light on an event that is soon to gain a lot of traction and attention that is deserves. Being its inaugural year, I would say it turned out to be a huge success as the athletes such as Chad Kerley, Ryan Williams, and many other big names were projecting the quintessential values of kindness, encouragement, drive, and pure athletic ability. It’s kind of funny how many of the Summer X Games athletes have tattoos up to their neck and look very intimidating but having gotten the chance to chat with them, they are truly some of the nicest and down to earth people I have ever met. Watching the athletes strut their skills in front of these mentally disabled kids was all out in inspiring and was so much fun to watch.
I flew in on Wednesday afternoon and the new X Games intern (Ben) drove me directly to the venues to check out the set up/ festivities. Thank you, Ben! Upon checking into my hotel, the receptionist told me that my room had been cancelled and in the midst of the confusion I proceeded to tell him, “Well, I’m here!” As I got things sorted out, he eventually checked me in and said we could figure it out later. As I was settling into my new room when the Senior Director of Marketing for X Games (Amy Lupo) explained to me that they had cancelled my room to upgrade me to a nicer hotel… What!!!! Thank you, Amy and the X Games family! What an awesome way to start the trip, as my Friend Tommy Doyle says, “The Universe is spinning our way!”
On Thursday, a great friend by the name of Levi Levallee (Countless X Games medalist and snowmobile master) kindly invited me to his neck of the woods for a boat day on lake Minnetonka. Levi is a Minnesota native and had some of his friends at The Wake Mafia (a local boat retailer) take us out for some wake surfing, wake boarding, and other fun activities. Levi is not only a master on the snowmobile but, it turns out he has incredible talent on the wake board showing us his endless bag of tricks including casual 540’s, massive playboy backflips, and the occasional McTwist. Not only was the boating day amazing but, being able to actually talk shop and get into the nitty gritty details about how Levi has come to be so successful beyond snowmobiling was very special to me. He somehow balances his family, training, managing his own snowmobile race team, and owning two different businesses with a firm sense of equanimity. Being able to ask him real life questions and witness how he has carved out a great life for himself and his family was a real treat and he is definitely someone who I look up to and want to emulate. Thank you, Levi, @WakeMafia, and Daniel Milchev.
On Friday, my friends (Broby Leeds + Erik Whese) and I went to all of the events, specifically looking forward to Men’s Skate Street, Men’s Skateboard big air, and Motocross best trick. We were lucky enough to find front row seats to watch the likes of Nyjah Huston, Yuto Horigome, and Sora Shirai battle it out for podium spots. I was then asked by X Games to present the medals for Men’s skateboard big air which was an amazing experience to give the gold medal to my fellow Rockstar teammate Elliot Stone! On Saturday and Sunday, we enjoyed many of the festivities including the Diplo concert and many fun experiences. I owe a huge thank you to the X Games family and the high level of professionalism and aurora they bring to the pro circuit of competition.