Top ten X Games moments of 2015
Looking back on X Games in 2015
It's hard to believe, but 2015 is just about done, and with it, two successful X Games events in Aspen, Colorado, and Austin, Texas. To celebrate the action and progression that transpired in 2015, XGames.com took a look back at the top 10 moments of X Games in 2015. From new tricks to new musical acts to new heroes, X Games delivered on all fronts in 2015. And, hey, it didn't make the top 10 list, but X Games also delivered a water-skiing squirrel named Twiggy in 2015, and that's definitely worth a mention. Click on to see what the top 10 moments of X Games were in 2015.
10: Skateboarding rules in Austin
Twenty years deep in the X Games, and skateboarding still rules supreme at X Games Austin in 2015. From old favorites returning to grab gold medals in Skateboard Big Air like Bob Burnquist to the debut of a regional amateur series which progressed throughout the year up to Austin, the progression of skateboarding, along with the next generation of skateboard gold medalists that included Nyjah Huston and Alexis Sablone, took center stage at X Games Austin over four days of competition. But some, including Birdhouse pro Ben Raybourn, brought the rebellious side of skateboarding with them to Texas, performing rebel runs and classic 1980s tricks in his Skateboard Park runs.
9: Flat-track racing debuts in Austin
To kick off X Games Austin 2015, X Games added a new discipline, featuring one of the world's oldest and most exhilarating motorcycle disciplines in existence: Harley-Davidson flat-track racing. With a custom-built track, high-speed motorcycles and 24 of the world's best flat-track racers on hand, X Games Austin was off to a quick start. In the final lap, with Jared Mees in the lead, a mechanical issue allowed second-place contender Bryan Smith to sneak by and grab the first X Games Austin medal of 2015. "It's great for the whole sport. I've been watching X Games since I was 10, and I'm finally here," Smith said.
8: Bowman carries Sarah Burke's legacy on
2014 Sochi Olympic women's ski halpipe gold medalist Maddie Bowman returned to X Games Aspen in 2015 and walked away with her third consecutive gold in the kickoff event, Women's Ski Superpipe. In the process, Bowman became the first female Winter X three-peat gold medalist since the late Sarah Burke, who pushed for the inclusion of the sport through the early- and mid-2000s before passing away in a training accident in January 2012. "Tonight was awesome, and I can't believe it happened," Bowman said following the competition. "I grew up idolizing Sarah Burke, and the first time I met her was at X Games. Sarah is the reason we're here. To win X Games three times in a row, like Sarah, is pretty special."
7: Colten Moore conquers Speed & Style
In 2014, Colten Moore scored an emotional gold medal moment when he took the win in Snowmobile Freestyle, following the death of his brother, Caleb, in 2013. At X Games Aspen 2015, Colten Moore arrived at a new challenge -- Snowmobile Freestyle was out as a discipline, replaced by Snowmobile Speed & Style. Rather than sit out his preferred event, Moore adapted to the new format, practiced the "speed" element and arrived at X Games Aspen 2015 to claim his first gold medal in Snowmobile Speed & Style. Following a dramatic win over Joe Parsons, Moore discussed his brother's legacy. "I give this medal to Caleb, again," Moore said.
6: Satterfield lands the double flair on MegaRamp
At X Games Xll in 2006, BMX Vert competitor Kevin Robinson made X Games and BMX history when he landed a double flair (two backflips with a 180-degree twist) in BMX Vert Best Trick. In the time since, the trick had largely remained dormant, with Robinson attempting it only once on the X Games MegaRamp. At X Games Austin 2015, BMX Big Air competitor Colton Satterfield rolled the dice on the double flair and came out on the winning end of the gamble, claiming his second consecutive X Games BMX Big Air gold medal in the process. Robinson, commentating the event, wept tears of joy as Satterfield was congratulated by friends and family.
5: Mark McMorris doubles up, again
With a Cab 12 into a frontside 1440 to backside triple cork 1440 stomped clean by Stale Sandbech on his first run, the Olympic slopestyle silver medalist seemed to have the first-place spot on lock at X Games Aspen 2015. Then Canadian Mark McMorris dropped in for his final run in Men's Snowboard Slopestyle, landed the first frontside triple core 1440 in competition history and snatched the gold with a more varied and technical rail section, which also earned the highest score in the history of the discipline at X Games. The win was McMorris' second of X Games Aspen 2015 -- his first coming in Snowboard Big Air earlier in the week -- and it was the second time he has won double Slopestyle/Big Air gold at X.
4: Thomas Pagès lands the bike flip
Close to a decade ago in the sport of Moto X Freestyle and Best Trick, FMX upstart Kyle Loza dreamt the impossible -- a bike flip (dirt bike does a backflip, rider stays vertical) -- and steadily pursued the trick over a standard jump to no avail. The trick laid dormant, until France's Thomas Pages took the technique to a new type of ramp, a quarterpipe. Pages debuted the trick in 2014, and when X Games Austin announced the addition of Moto X Quarterpipe in 2015, Thomas Pages was at the top of the invite list. Pages virtually destroyed himself on his first attempt but came back to land the bike flip on his second attempt, claiming X Games gold and a spot in the vested annals of X Games history.
3: Chloe Kim unseats Kelly Clark
Prior to X Games Aspen 2015, Kelly Clark has been dominating competitive snowboarding for 15 years -- since before Chloe Kim was born. The most decorated athlete in X Games history, Clark had 70 career wins in the halfpipe, and before X Games Aspen 2015, her past five consecutive X Games medals were gold. Then 14-year-old Chloe Kim arrived and changed the course of history, winning her first X Games gold medal in Women's Snowboard SuperPipe in 2015. Her winning run included two highly difficult switch tricks: a switch backside air and a switch backside 720, which she threw after casing the coping in practice, scraping her face and chipping her tooth in the process of becoming the youngest athlete ever to win a gold medal at X Games Aspen. Clark gracefully passed the torch and acknowledged Kim as the future of pipe.
2: Metallica rocks Austin
For the first time in X Games history, heavy-metal legends Metallica took to the X Games Austin 2015 Super Stage following Friday night headliner Nicki Minaj. Armed with over 30 years of back catalog history, Metallica played an hour-plus set that combined old favorites with new takes on classic tunes for a packed Texas crowd. Just hours before their performance, Metallica's James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett performed a guitar-tinged version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" to open the day. And if that wasn't enough, Metallica recorded their X Games performance and sold it online through their website, with all proceeds from sales of the recording going to benefit central Texas flood victims.
1: Danny Davis claims consecutive pipe gold
Danny Davis trained for X Games Aspen 2015 by taking a powder shred trip to Japan with Mark McMorris and Terje Haakonsen. The fact that he claimed he "hadn't ridden pipe much" last season didn't seem to be a factor as the 2014 X Games Aspen SuperPipe gold medalist handily won his second gold on his last run of the night, effectively bumping Shaun White off the podium in the process. White finished in fourth place, while Davis became the only other snowboarder in the history of X Games besides Shaun White to win two consecutive SuperPipe gold medals.