The women of X Games Austin 2015
Women of X
What the women of X Games Austin lack in numbers, they make up in talent and tenacity. We caught up with some of this week's competitors in between practice sessions and pulled them into a studio to capture them in their mid-game glory.
Alana Smith, Skateboarder
Alana Smith was just 12 years old when she first showed up at X Games in 2013, won a silver medal in women's Skateboard Park and made history by becoming the youngest X Games medalist ever. Now 14, she's still one of the youngest athletes competing at X Games Austin 2015 and she'll be one to watch when the women compete in Skateboard Street on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Shayna Texter, Flat-track racer
Twenty-four-year-old Shayna Texter has eight career GNC2 victories and is the only female to win at the professional level on the AMA Flat Track series. She raced up against her brother, Cory Texter, on Thursday night in Austin, marking the first time a brother and sister have competed against each other at X Games.
Leticia Bufoni, Skateboarder
Leticia Bufoni had long been a star on the rise in the world of women's skateboarding when she won gold in front of a home country crowd at X Games Foz do Iguacu in 2013 and stepped onto the international stage. She claimed her second victory later that year at X Games Los Angeles and took bronze at Austin in 2014. The 22-year-old skater from Sao Paolo, Brazil, is always a contender for gold.
Tarah Gieger, Enduro X
Tarah Gieger, 29, is the most decorated woman in X Games Moto X history, with seven medals and counting. She's been racing some women's Motocross Championship events to rediscover her race speed and has made two AMA EnduroCross podiums in 2015 so far. She'll be one to watch when the women tackle the Enduro X course on Friday night at 7 p.m. ET.
Lacey Baker, Skateboarder
Last year at X Games Austin, Lacey Baker won her first X Games gold medal in women's Skateboard Street. She'd long been gunning for that number-one spot, winning two silvers in 2013 at X Games LA and X Games Foz do Iguau. She won her first X Games medal, a bronze, in 2006 at 14 years of age. "Other contests aren't as intense," Baker, 23, says. "Just X Games."
Alexis Sablone, Skateboarder
Four-time X Games medalist Alexis Sablone, 28, arrived in Austin after just finishing her third year of a master's degree in architecture at MIT. She took ninth place in Austin in 2014. "I set myself up for either doing really well and potentially winning or doing really badly," Sablone says. Soon after she scored second place at the Kimberley Diamond Cup in South Africa.
Laia Sanz, Enduro X
Laia Sanz won three women's Enduro X titles and a silver medal at X Games before taking last year off to compete in the Enduro World Championships in Finland. The 29-year-old Spaniard is the most accomplished female trials rider in the world, and on Friday night, she'll be seeking her fifth X Games medal in her fifth XG appearance.
Vanessa Torres, Skateboarder
Vanessa Torres won the very first gold medal in Women's Street Skateboarding, back when the event made its debut at X Games Los Angeles 2003. A legend in women's skateboarding, Torres hasn't yet returned to the top of the podium, but is always a contender.
Nichole Mees, Flat-track racer
Nichole Mees competed in the X Games debut of Harley-Davidson Flat-Track Racing on Thursday night in Austin. In an X Games first, she raced against her husband, Jared Mees, a two-time GNC1 champion. Nichole, a 27-year-old school teacher in Michigan, has been competing in GNC1 since 2007.
Samarria Brevard, Skateboarder
Samarria Brevard, a 21-year-old, newly-minted pro skateboarder from southern California, made her X Games debut in 2013 and finished fourth. "I think Samarria's the future," says fellow XG athlete Alexis Sablone. "She's powerful, and I love the tricks she does."
Marisa Dal Santo, Skateboarder
Marisa Dal Santo, 27, has five Women's Skateboard Street medals to her name: three gold, one silver and one bronze. In her 10 X Games appearances, the Chicago native has never finished lower than fourth place. Expect her to be pushing the rest of the field in Austin on Saturday.
Sandra Gomez Cantero, Enduro X
Sandra Gomez Cantero, a three-time X Games medalist, finished second overall in the 2015 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship and has been racing in America in 2015. The 21-year-old Spaniard has a strong trials background. Look for her to excel in the rocks and technical sections on the Enduro X course on Friday night in Austin.