X Games California 2023, the world’s premier action sports competition, kicked off Friday, July 21, 2023, at the Ventura County Fairgrounds & Events Center. The excitement was at an all-time high as X Games welcomed fans back to a Southern California event for the first time in 10 years.
Monster Energy BMX Megapark and Monster Energy Skateboard Megapark
Monster Energy BMX Megapark saw Australian fan-favorite Ryan Williams defend his title with the two-highest scores of the day – winning by more than five points. It was R. Willy’s third run, an off-axis 1080 over the gap and a frontflip inward bike flip on the second gap. He is competing in four disciplines in this event and looking to become the first athlete since Travis Pastrana in 2006 to win three gold medals in the same X Games event. 40-year-old Morgan Wade earned silver in his 21st X Games appearance and Jaie Toohey took bronze for his third overall X Games medal.
In Monster Energy Skateboard Megapark, France’s Edouard Damestoy also defended his title and third X Games victory in the past 12 months.
“It’s harder when you go to a contest and you have to defend the title,”. “It’s definitely harder than coming in as an outsider, when people have no expectations! But I like this new feeling better: When you defend the title, it’s like you have the belt and you want to keep it.”said Damestoy
The silver medal went to Brazil’s Gui Khury who now owns seven medals before age 15. Khury showed off, landing two 900s in each of his best two runs. Tom Schaar earned bronze, his 10th career X Games medal. He is the only skater competing in four disciplines this weekend.
Thayer’s BMX Dirt Elimination:
On Friday morning, 16 BMX athletes competed on the four-jump dirt downhill course, featuring a variety of jumps, gaps, and berms ranging from 17 to 25 feet. The two-run format whittled the field from 16 to the top eight riders, who each earned a spot in Saturday’s Finals. The rookie, 20-year-old Brady Baker, qualified in the top spot, with the top eight also earning their place in finals.
Women’s Skateboard Street Elimination and Men’s Skateboard Street Elimination:
In both the Men’s and Women’s Eliminations,16 skaters in each field, put down their best 45-second run, in
attempts of being among the top eight moving on.The Street course features stair sets, banks, manual pads,
ledges, rails, and quarterpipes and boasts a design with Ventura High School vibes.
X Games 2022 gold medalist Momiji Nishiya took the top spot for the women. Newcomer, 14-year-old Shiloh
Catori surprised the crowd, qualifying in second place ahead of Chloe Covell and Liz Akama.
For the men, Yuto Horigome, Ryan Decenzo and Gustavo Ribiero led the pack and claimed the first, second, and third spots, respectively.
BMX Street Finals
In Friday’s first final competition, Kevin Peraza earned his first X Games BMX Street Gold. The 28-year-old
rider rode with clean style and landed massive, technical tricks. This gold in Street marks Peraza’s third
overall X Games gold – with one in Park and Dirt as well. His run included a highlight-reel wallride on the front
of the bell tower and a 270 tire bonk into the pole, as well as a nose 180 on the picnic table both ways.
“I grew up riding everything, so there was never a right way or wrong way to ride BMX,”. “Everyone I’ve looked up to and the guys I got to ride with today have all inspired me to flow through what BMX is. It’s always been a goal of mine to ride all the disciplines, and this year, I was blessed to be invited to compete in all three. Walking away not only with gold but also being healthy is a dream. My one best friends, Pat Casey told me, ‘Dream Big. You can do anything you want with dedication and some love. So this one is for him.”Peraza said following his win
X Games Chiba 2023 gold medalist Boyd Hilder took his first silver medal in just his third X Games appearance. Despite two uncharacteristic bobbles on Garrett Reynolds‘ last two runs, he earned his second bronze medal of the event and 23rd overall X Games medal.
Pacifico Men’s Skateboard Vert
In Pacifico Men’s Skateboard Vert, Jimmy Wilkins returned to the top of the podium with a stacked first run that scored a 92.33. His first run score proved unbeatable, holding the top spot through three additional rounds of runs. Wilkins earned his seventh X Games gold medal, and continued his winning streak that began in 2018. His run included a tailgrab 720 to fakie, which has never been landed in a contest.
“Feels good, I have so many friends and special people here, so that’s what it’s about,” .”I’ve never done it (tailgrab 720 to fakie), and I was really close while practicing back home– I just needed the energy of X Games to do it!”said a beaming Wilkins moments after winning
The silver went to Mitchie Brusco, his 15th X Games medal. The Vert Alert second place qualifier and Best Trick winner, Moto Shibata took bronze.
Moto X Best Trick
Moto X Best Trick closed the first day of X Games California 2023 competition with David Rinaldo landing a Carolla variation for his first X Games gold. The Carolla, made famous by Chuck Carothers who was the one and only rider to land it in 2004, is a let-go body varial.
“I just wanted to push my limitthe limit of the sport. All the time. That’s what I’m here for. It’s, it’s best trick. So let’s go!”When Rinaldo was asked about the gumption he had to go for gold, he said,
X Games Japan gold medalist Jackson Strong took silver and fellow Aussie Jayo Archer took bronze.