Perfectionist: BMX Street King Reynolds
Garrett Reynolds won the first BMX Street contest at X Games in 2007. He's been near-perfect ever since. The 25-year-old captured the first six gold medals awarded in the discipline at X Games. He took silver in 2013 behind his good friend and closest competitor, Chad Kerley, then reclaimed the top spot in 2014.
BMX Street wasn't contested at X Games 2015, but the brief hiatus gave Reynolds more time to focus on his appropriately-named Red Bull video part, "Unreal," which features many high-consequence moves and big drops and is definitely worth a watch.
BMX Street returns to X Games in 2016, and the discipline's most dominant rider is approaching it in his typically laid-back fashion. "It's going to be sick just to see everyone and hang out with everybody," Reynolds says. "We all ride with our own crews. Unfortunately, we don't get everybody together enough, outside of X Games."
With some prompting, he does admit to feeling the pressure as the man to beat. "Of course I want to win," he says. "BMX Street at X Games has obviously been the biggest thing to happen to my career. Needless to say, I was stoked to hear it was coming back. It felt like a big gaping hole in the schedule in 2015."
Even with 7 gold medals in his collection, he says he isn't taking anything, or anybody, for granted. "To be honest, my biggest competition really could be anyone," Reynolds says. It's not just his usual humble talk. At the Dew Tour Chicago stop in June 2015, Reynolds finished second behind Dennis Enarson in BMX Streetstyle and fourth in BMX Street (behind Kerley, Enarson and Sean Ricany). He took second in BMX Street at Germany's Munich Mash later that month, also behind Enarson. (Of course, Enarson recently dropped out of 2016 Street because of schedule concerns with Park.)
"In street, it's all super technical tricks and almost impossible combinations, and if any one of these guys puts all their tricks together, they could win, while any one of us could just as easily fall during our runs," Reynolds says. "Everyone shines in their own way, and there are so many styles and types of riding to appreciate that it could also just be up to the judges on the day."
Reynolds says he approaches the X Games BMX Street course the same way he tackles filming video parts or riding for fun -- always looking to try something new on each approach and fine-tuning every detail as he goes. In 2014, he improved in each of his three runs, ultimately edging out Dakota Roche and Enarson for the win in Run 3, closing out the contest with some of the most video-part-worthy tricks of the day.
"The funny thing, thinking about those tricks, is that it's all come a long way since then," Reynolds says. "That was two whole years ago! Everybody has progressed a ton."
So, what's it going to take to win, circa 2016? "Good tricks, consistency and hopefully something nobody's ever seen before," Reynolds says. "You know, the same old same old."
The same old same old would see another gold draped around his neck.