When I was in elementary school, growing up in North Dakota, I spent a lot of time sledding. I would go off of jumps, and eventually I started standing on my sled. One year, I asked my mom for a snowboard for Christmas. I wanted one so bad, but I also knew it was unlikely that I would actually get one. When Christmas came around, we were opening presents, and my mom had indeed gotten me a snowboard. A fingerboard, I was crushed. I was enamored with extreme sports: snowboarding, skateboarding, BMX, motor cross, skiing, snowmobiling. My family didn’t have the money for me to do these sports, but I loved watching them. Not very common for a girl in the 90s. I loved the skill that came with landing tricks. I can even remember watching the X Games on TV, by myself. When the X Games started, I was 10.
Imagine my excitement when hearing the X Games were to be in my town, as an adult. For FOUR years! The first year I missed it because I was out of state, but my husband went. So, when the X Games was to host their 2nd year of summer games in Minneapolis, I KNEW I had to go. My kids were thrilled as well. We chose to go Friday, the 2nd day of X Games. These are my 5 favorite things of the X Games (click here for YouTube video):
Tickets to the X Games start off at $20 for General Admission. General Admission tickets include access to the competition, located inside US Bank Stadium, and X-fest, located outside of US Bank Stadium. In addition, taking public transportation keeps costs down. We took the Metro Blue Line light rail to US Bank Stadium, saving on the cost and chaos of parking.
4. X Fest
X-fest provided so many activities to keep everyone engaged. The kids won prizes, playing games at the booths. My husband and son got free underwear from Fruit of the Loom, and my daughter was given a hat from ESPN. My kids were so excited to try everything. We signed a few liability waivers, and they were able to try almost everything (a few activities they were two short or too young to do). The kids tried the American Ninja Warrior challenges and they biked on the ramps. ALL the people working were so helpful with the kids, I was impressed.
I think my jaw was hanging on the floor for most of the stuff we saw. The tricks were AMAZING! My favorites were watching 11 year old Gavin Bottger in the Next X Skateboard Park Final, Dave Mira’s BMX Best Trick final, Moto X Quarter Pipe High Air Final, and The Real Cost BMX Big Air Final.
4. Shred Hate
The X Games is serious of ending childhood bullying. The X Games teamed up with No Bully, a nonprofit to recognize the signs of bullying and put an end to it, forming Shred Hate in 2017. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to this booth because we were rushed inside when a storm was rolling in, but I 100% support this cause and am so thankful for the compassion of these organizations to work towards ending something so serious.
1. Role Models
While my kids were waiting their turn to ride bikes on the ramps, professional athletes were sitting down at the table next to them to sign autographs. Everyone was wondering where the line of people to get autographs were, but then it was quickly realized the whole crowd of people were surrounding the water-skiing squirrel. My kids rode the bikes then wanted to get autographs. Every single athlete talked to my daughter. They asked about her skateboard shirt, if she skateboarded, found out she wanted a skateboard for her birthday, and she would be 5 on August 2.
During the time we were waiting in line for the wall climb, we were able to watch the filming of X Games hosts, former professional snowboarder, Jack Mitranti and professional snowboarder, Craig McMorris, attempt to climb the wall. They both made it! After filming, I asked Jack Mitranti if he’d take a photo with my son. Not only did he immediately agree, but he says, “Do you want a picture with both of us? Craig will be right back.” I told him it was up to him if he wanted to wait. He did. He sat and chatted with my 7 year old about the X Games, ensuring he was having a fun time, and what his favorite things at X Games were. As a mom, I was through the roof with admiration for this man. Craig McMorris returned and the three of them got a photo. Later, I tweeted a photo of my son to Jack Mitranti telling me how much respect I had for him. AND HE RETWEETED IT!!!