ESPN has decided to continue its 13-year tradition of vert competitions at this year’s X Games. Over the past month ESPN has engaged in many conversations with the X Games BMX and Skateboard vert athletes in an attempt to transition the Vert discipline into one featuring a skatepark course design. While many athletes were initially receptive to the idea, the majority of them have indicated to ESPN that they would prefer to compete on a halfpipe.
ESPN will also continue its plans to hold SuperPark as a new discipline for skateboarding and BMX at the X Games while working with the athletes to better define exactly how the SuperPark course will be designed.
“The X Games has always had a commitment to the athletes and our consistent communication with them has allowed us to collectively grow this event to where it is today,” said Chris Stiepock, General Manager, X Games. “In this particular case the communication took many turns but a consensus by the athletes has emerged that has lead us to reinstate Vert as an X Games discipline this year. We will continue to work with the athletes to make the X Games relevant and successful.”
Pro Skateboarder and 14-time X Games medalist, Bob Burnquist, said: “I think it’s great that ESPN will continue to have a Vert contest, and I’m looking forward to working with them to make sure the vert competition at the X Games is the best that it can be.”