Rice-Eccles hosts world-class extreme sports event
Jul 27, 2017 13h57
By Koster Kennard
Harry Bink completes the first ever front flip rock solid to win FMX best trick. (Courtesy photo from Nitro World Games)
Salt Lake City might not be known for its extreme sports, but on Saturday June 24, it hosted one of the biggest extreme sport events of the year.
The second annual Nitro World Games were held at University of Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium.
“When we began to discuss where the Nitro World Games would be hosted, it became clear there was only one place that we needed to be, and that was Utah,” said Travis Pastrana via the Deseret News. “Nitro Circus has roots here in Utah. While Nitro was born in my mind, it was in Utah where it became a reality.”
“The fans in Utah are easily some of the most knowledgeable consumers of the sport,” said Pastrana. “As we travel around the globe with the Nitro Circus Live show, you quickly learn where you have to bring your best tricks, and Utah is at the top.”
According to Pastrana, Utah has more athletes competing in the event than any country other than Australia.
The event was comprised of six events: Freestyle Motorcross (FMX) Best Trick, Freestyle Motorcross, BMX Best Tricks, BMX Triple Hit, Skate Best Tricks and Scooter Best Tricks.
The winner of each event from last year automatically qualified for their event and there were seven other finalists in each event who competed in the semifinals on June 23.
Harry Bink won FMX best trick on his second attempt with a front flip rock solid. This is the first time this trick has been completed in an official competition.
“I got four hours of sleep last night waking up in cold sweats thinking about my run — it was a lot of pressure thinking about what I was going to do tonight,” Bink said in the Nitro Games press release. “I’m just very grateful for these results.”
Bink beat out last year’s champ Gregg Duffy.
Ryan Williams placed first in BMX Best Tricks and Scooter Best Tricks.
“I came here with the goal of winning both of my competitions and achieved that goal,” Williams explained in the press release. “Last year, everyone expected me to win Scooter and I didn’t achieve the result I wanted. Now I feel like I got redemption by taking the win this year.”
Williams won the Scooter competition by completing his signature trick, The Silly Willy.
The Nitro World Games is a branch of the Nitro Circus family of events and shows.
Nitro Circus started when now 11-time X Games Gold medalist Travis Pastrana joined forces with writers and producers Jeremy Rawle and Gregg Godfrey to create Nitro Circus DVDs in Rawle’s garage in Draper in 2003, according to nitrocircus.com.
Since then, the team has traveled the world showing off the skills of Pastrana and other riders. They’ve also produced a live reality TV show (Nitro Circus Live) and a feature-length film “Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D.”
The Nitro World Games is different than Nitro Circus Live where runs and tricks are planned out and athletes are part of the Nitro staff.
The Nitro World Games is a competition that athletes have to qualify for where they push one another to do more and more difficult stunts and prize money is on the line.
The Nitro Games are different from other extreme events because there are no standardized ramps.
“You know for so long action sports has kind of been about progression and then the ramps just kind of became standardized,” said Pastrana in an interview with KSL. “Kind of like with the Olympics, you have to standardize stuff but we were like, ‘why standardize?’ These are action sports they’re all about progression and innovation and this is the most innovative course of any competition anywhere in the world.”
Nitro’s philosophy is that bigger air is as important as new tricks.
“To us, progression encompasses more than just foundational tricks no one has ever done before — though those are a huge and important part of it,” according to Charlie Daniel on nitroworldgames.com. “But this is also about technical proficiency and creative innovation, and to foster all of this, the Nitro World Games has bigger ramp setups and novel formats that reward progression.”
“These incredibly skilled athletes put everything on the line today. They absolutely sent it, no holds barred, elevating the sport and setting a totally new standard,” said Pastrana.
Fans of Nitro can watch the Nitro World Games on the Nitro Circus Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NitroCircus.