ESPN shooting promo for upcoming X Games around Austin
By Dave Doolittle
Editor’s note: This article was originally published April 23, 2014
At the beginning of the video above, motocross rider Nate Adams is doing a wheelie along the Congress Avenue bridge on Wednesday afternoon.
The bridge is a little less than a quarter-mile long, but Adams said he could probably ride one wheel much farther.
“I guess until it runs out of gas, I’ve never tried,” Adams said. “Until my hands get tired and my arms get tired, I guess.”
Adams and several other X Games athletes were in town Wednesday shooting a promo for ESPN ahead of the games, which are scheduled for June 5-8 in Austin.
The promos will feature athletes performing tricks in several iconic Austin locations, including St. Mary Cathedral downtown, the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and the state Capitol.
They will begin airing May 26 on all ESPN platforms, a network spokeswoman said.
“It’ll be fun. I’m getting a cop escort so I can, you know, not get arrested for doing this, ” Adams said before doing about four passes on the bridge, which was temporarily shut down around lunch time. “I don’t do that with bikes at home. It wears out the tires like that so today I just get to burn ‘em up and do wheelies and enjoy doing something slightly illegal, but it’s all legal now.”
Adams, 30, will be competing in the motocross freestyle and speed and style competitions in Austin. He’s still recovering from multiple injuries throughout his career, including a broken tibia in February.
“I’ve been riding a couple of weeks now, everything’s all good now,” he said. “I’m looking forward to competing again (and) … repeating with gold and hopefully get bronze or better in freestyle.”
Adams has competed in the X Games since 2001 and has won 16 medals, including two golds each in Freestyle and Speed and Style, which combines racing with freestyle.
“I love it,” Adams said. “It takes the excitement of racing and combines it with the awe factor of freestyle. The response from the fans since the beginning has been great. The riders love it, the fans love it, and hopefully X Games keeps it around a long time.”
About 200 athletes from around the world are expected to compete in this year’s games, which will be held in Austin for the first time.
The games, which were started and continue to be run by ESPN, had been held in Los Angeles for years, but the network in 2012 opened the bidding to other cities. Austin was announced as the winner of a four-year deal last summer, beating out Chicago, Detroit and Charlotte, N.C.
Most of the competitions will be held at the 1,400-acre Circuit of the Americas in Southeast Austin, but two events, skateboard and bicycle “vert,” are planned for Congress Avenue in front of the Capitol.
The games will also feature live music, including a concert by Kanye West, the Flaming Lips and a Battle of the Bands competition.
ESPN and ABC will televise a combined 20 live hours of the competition, which will be split into four categories: Skateboard, BMX, MotoCross and Stadium Super Trucks. An additional seven hours will be carried on ESPN3.
Single- and three-day passes have already gone on sale, starting at $39 and $89 with additional fees for parking and overnight camping. Concert-only tickets are not available. For more information, visit www.xgamesaustin.com.