By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The X Games in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil continued on Saturday, April 20th with Moto X Speed & Style, BMX Dirt and Skateboard Vert Finals. The games began for the first time in Brazil on Thursday, April 18th and have featured extreme sporting competitions including; skateboarding, BMX and Moto X.
Brazilian skater Bob Burnquist was the first to win gold during the Skateboard Big Air competition on opening day. This marked the fifth X-Games gold medal in the competition for the 36-year-old Burnquist, whose specialty is the MegaRamp, a large vertical ramp used in skateboarding and freestyle BMX.
“We’ve had these MegaRamp events here, and I’ve gotten wins here, but, this was unique,” Burnquist told ESPN shortly after his victorious run. “I’m really stoked. And to do it here at home, as the first main X Games, I can’t ask for anything better.”
The X Games are a series of annual events organized by the U.S. sports broadcaster ESPN. First held in 1995 in the state of Rhode Island, U.S. as a summer event, the games focused on skateboarding, BMX and other sports that had been overlooked by more mainstream sports broadcasters. Since then, the games expanded with the inclusion of several events a year and winter games events including snowboarding competitions.
In May 2012, three international cities; Barcelona, Spain; Munich, Germany and Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, were chosen to host the X Games. Foz do Iguaçu beat out the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in the bidding for the event and join Barcelona and Munich along with Tignes, France and the U.S. cities of Aspen, Colorado and Los Angeles, California in hosting the games this year.
On Sunday, April 21st the games will finish in Foz do Iguaçu with events including; the Women’s Skateboard Street, the Ford RallyCross, Men’s Skateboard Park and the Moto X Freestyle Finals.
Foz do Iguaçu is the site of the Iguaçu Falls or “Big Water” in Tupi or Guarani (the native Indian languages of the area). The Iguaçu Falls lie on the border between Paraná state in Brazil and Argentina, and is on of Brazil’s most famous sight-seeing destinations.
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