The inaugural X Games were staged in Rhode Island in 1995. In the decade since, the event has grown, adding athletes and sports and gaining prestige. Here, in chronological order, are the most memorable moments from the X files.
Fabiola da Silva's
She didn't compete in 1995, but da Silva introduced herself in dramatic fashion a year later. In the women's in-line vert competition, the 17-year-old from Brazil became the first female skater to land a backflip and won the first of her five gold medals in the event. Because women's in-line vert was eliminated from the X Games in 2002, da Silva now competes against the men--and has held her own, as she proved with a sixth-place finish in 2004.
Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Hawk, a five-time X Games gold medalist and the Babe Ruth of skateboarding, landed a 900--2 1/2 rotations above a halfpipe--during the best-trick competition. It took 11 tries, but the 31-year-old skating legend was not to be denied. "This is the best day of my life, I swear to God," Hawk said.
RIDE INTO THE BAY (1999)
Winning a gold medal in the moto X competition at age 15 apparently wasn't enough for Pastrana. The youngest of nine riders, he had locked up his first X Games victory with a perfectly executed no-handed seat grab as he flew 29 1/2 feet into the air during his first run, earning a score of 99.0. Since none of his rivals could one-up him during their second runs, Pastrana took care of that himself--by riding up a dirt ramp off the course and into San Francisco Bay. As a result of the stunt, ESPN denied Pastrana his $10,000 first prize.
NO-HANDED 900 (2002)
He didn't win, but Hoffman made his dreams come true--or at least his visions, as he'd been imagining the trick for three weeks--when he soared off a 52-foot ramp and completed 2 1/2 rotations in the air. Hoffman fumbled the landing, opening the way for Dave Mirra to win the bike stunt vert competition, but even the champion was left in awe by the 30-year-old Hoffman's feat. "Best trick today, for sure," Mirra said.
He'd been the first to attempt a backflip in competition (at the 2000 Gravity Games), and he'd bailed out midway through his rotation in another try (at the '01 X Games) and crashed hard. In the '02 big-air competition, Hart, 27, finally stomped it, with an anxious audience--including girlfriend Pink--watching. Mike Metzger claimed the gold with back-to-back backflips in earlier rounds, but Hart's tenacity became legend.
THIRD GOLD (2004)
Since its X Games introduction in 1997, women's wakeboarding has seen the talent level of its competitors soar. That hasn't stopped Friday, who last year, at 17, ran away with her third title. She sealed her win with an off-axis 360 that she'd never before used in competition. "I see the way the guys ride, and I think I can ride at that level," she said.
¬†With his revolutionary 2 1/2, Hawk gave the 1999 Games a major lift.
TWO COLOR PHOTOS
COURTESY OF FOX RACING