X Games destinations, 1995 - 2015
On the road with X Games
So you think X Games is just a twice a year event that happens in Aspen, Colorado and Austin, Texas? Think again. X Games has traveled the world, and brought the world of action sports to Europe, Asia, South America and destinations throughout North America.
1995: Newport, Rhode Island
For 20 years, The X Games (formerly known as The Extreme Games) has introduced a wide spectrum of action sports to the ESPN audience. Starting in Newport, Rhode Island in the summer of 1995 (pictured here), The Extreme Games showcased skateboarding, BMX and an array of fringe action sports that catered to a newer, younger audience on ESPN, and the momentum just kept on going from there. What was the next step after year one? To do it again, to do it bigger, and to bring it around the world.
1996: Providence, Rhode Island
In 1996, with Bill Clinton in the Oval Office and the sounds of Hanson on the radio, the event would move down the road to Providence, Rhode Island and rebrand as the X Games, featuring a greater variety of sports, including the high speeds, hay bails and racing leathers of Mass Street Luge.
1997: San Diego, California
X Games would move across the country to San Diego in 1997, where the best views were afforded to the competitors in the new discipline of Sky Surfing, high above the California coast. In 1997, X Games also introduced snowboarding to the summer lineup, and those in attendance were lucky enough to see snowboarders flying through the air alongside skateboarding, BMX, surfing and more.
2000: Mount Snow, Vermont
In 2000, Winter X Games would move east to a new home in Vermont, becoming the first winter event to be contested on the east coast. Far from the immaculately groomed 24-foot modern SuperPipe crafted in Aspen today, Kim Stacy throws a backside air in the hand-shaped pipe of Mount Snow during Women's SuperPipe qualifiers.
2000: Phuket, Thailand
In the late 1990s, X Games would expand internationally, with new addition Asian X Games visiting Phuket, Thailand for a short handful of years and the tropical paradise playing host to the international wakeboard circuit. Here Kimu Rusna of Indonesia lays it out for the Patong Beach crowds. The Asian X Games also included skateboarding, BMX and aggressive inline skating. The X Games also went so far as to incorporate regional qualifying rounds into their Asian competition schedule. The Asian X Tour included regional qualifiers in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.
2000: San Francisco, California
As the 1990s drew to a close, X Games would migrate up the California coast to a new home on the waterfront of San Francisco in the shadow of the Bay Bridge. The X Games stayed in San Francisco for two years and included the debut of Moto X, plus the debut of the 900 air in Skateboard Vert by Tony Hawk and the double backflip in BMX Park by Dave Mirra. Meanwhile, a young Brian Deegan, still an X Games fixture today, wowed onlookers in Moto X Freestyle.
2002: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Asian X Games would call Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, home in the first half of the 2000s, and the event attracted competitors from China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and India for events in skateboarding, BMX and aggressive inline skating. Here, Taipei's Cheng Pan Chung airs the BMX Vert ramp in the shadow of Kuala Lumpur's famous Petronas Twin Towers. At the time, they were the tallest buildings in the world, and they were the main tourist destination for the many visiting X Games competitors.
2005: Seoul, Korea
In 2005, Asian X Games would make a lone stop in Seoul, South Korea, where inline skating's relative popularity in Asia made various disciplines a fixture of the Asian events through the last decade. Here Khris Taig of France whips a 900 during the Inline Vert final on the grounds of Seoul's Olympic Sports Complex. Seoul also played host to regional Asian X Tour events in years past.
2007: Dubai, U.A.E.
X Games continued its path across the globe through the mid 2000s, dropping in for a number of years to the Middle East for X Games Dubai. That's where the UK's Ben Hennon sessioned the BMX Street course in the searing heat of the United Arab Emirates. "I never expected I would be able to ride a camel in my spare time between events at an X Games," said BMX sport organizer Mat Hoffman at the time.
2008: Mexico City, Mexico
X Games ventured south to Mexico City for back-to-back events in 2007 and 2008, and included competitions such as Skateboard and BMX Street, plus Moto X Freestyle. In between day trips to Teotihuacan and street missions on the untouched spots around the venue, the visiting X Games competitors did battle in the center of one of the largest venues in Mexico City. Here, Paul Rodriguez grinds a patriotic rail before Mexican onlookers.
2008: San Diego, California
X Games returned to San Diego in 2008, this time for a dedicated Moto X only event at Qualcomm Stadium, with a plethora of petrol-powered disciplines for the rabid Southern California fan base. Here, Broc Hepler powers through a turn on the stadium floor during the Moto X Racing Final.
2012: Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles played host to the proper summer-themed X Games event for the better part of a decade, ending its run in L.A. in 2013. Here, Kevin Robinson throws a no-handed flair under the setting sun in 2012. It was the last time BMX Big Air would be contested downtown in the shadow of the Staples Center, next to the 110 freeway.
2012: Shanghai, China
The final years of the Asian X Games were contested under the often gray skies of Shanghai, China, with the addition of a new type of MegaRamp, the MiniMega. While the event lives on today as the World Extreme Games, 2012 was the last year that the event was officially billed as an X Games event. Here, longtime X Games competitor Andy MacDonald competes in Skateboard Vert in 2012.
2013: Tignes, France
The French Alps hosted four consecutive winter-themed X Games events, beginning in 2010 as Euro Winter X Games and wrapping up in 2013. Here, Sina Candrian is dwarfed on the Women's Slopestyle Course by X Games Tignes' massive rocky spires and glaciated terrain.
2013: Barcelona, Spain
The Global X Games expansion in 2013 transversed the Atlantic Ocean numerous times during the span of six events. Here, dropping into Barcelona's famous Estadi Olimpic, site of the 1992 Summer Games, is Mike Brown and Taddy Blazusiak, who battled it out for Enduro X gold.
2013: Foz Do Iguacu, Brazil
Another stop on the Global X Games expansion, X Games descended on Foz Do Iguacu in the heat and humidity of southern Brazil in April 2013. Australian BMX pro Kyle Baldock took back-to-back gold in a single day in BMX Park and the return of BMX Dirt. And Skateboard and BMX Vert was held in front of a waterfall. Picturesque? Yes indeed.
2013: Munich, Germany
Munich's Olympiapark would host the fifth stop of 2013's Global X expansion, bringing the new event MTB Slopestyle with it. X Games newcomer Brett Rheeder captured X Games gold on the final day of competition, before a massive German crowd strung along the winding downhill course on the picturesque Olympic grounds.
2014: Austin, Texas
For 2014 and 2015, X Games returned to two events: winter sports at X Games Aspen, Colorado, and summer sports at X Games Austin, Texas. And the events continue to add new disciplines and new athletes to the fold, from Special Olympics at Aspen to Major League Gaming in Austin. Where will X Games travel to next? That question remains unanswered, but no one can doubt the global influence of the X Games.