[RH Photos] X Games Austin 2014 Recap

Photos by Virgil Solis Last week, the X Games kicked off their Summer competition in their new home of Austin, Texas. The event started Thursday evening with a skate demo right in the middle of downtown Austin with the Capitol Building as the backdrop with Friday representing the full day of X Games action. Lizzy B and I headed out to the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) late afternoon on Friday while the Texas heat was already at 90 degrees to collect our press badges and get our bearings at the festival-like camp grounds. As we walked through the massive track and amphitheater, we headed to the Moto X WHIP competition. Tom Parons, who eventually takes the gold, lets the crowd and X Games fans know that he had a broken leg and, up until a few days prior, wasn’t going to compete. After a short break of walking the ground, we made our way over to the Skate Big Air competition. The massive drop/ramp dwarfed everything around it. Legendary skater Bob Burnquist was one of the competitors alongside Rony Gomes, Edgard Pereira, 13-year-old Trey Wood, and 14-year-old Tom Schaar. Placing in second, Burnquist celebrated with Tom Schaar as he took the gold that evening. Events started earlier on Saturday, and the heat felt like 100 degrees all day. We hit the Skate Park finals as Pedro Barros, Grant Taylor, and Aaron Homoki won the medals for that competition. We took a break from the heat and hydrated before we headed over to the Moto X Speed & Style final. After watching some high flying Moto X skills, Lizzy B and I took another break from the unbearable heat and sun. Only other photographers can sympathize with how it feels to carry gear in brutal, 95 degree Texas heat all day. As Lizzy B and I separated to make a food run, things took a sudden turn. Apparently, after some security breach and demands from the music headliner Kanye West, many of the areas press and others had access to were closed, pretty much creating chaos and confusion in many parts of the park. At this point, as I tried to make it back to Lizzy, I wasn’t able to do so as security told me I was no longer allowed in an area where I had been a few minutes prior. After a few hours of confusion and many people at the stadium not knowing what was really going on, things began to clear up. By this point, music acts Mac Miller and Kanye West were gearing up to come on. Both Mac and Kanye rocked the stage, playing good sets that made the Games crowd happy. After an exhausting day, we called it in halfway through Kanye’s set as getting some rest for Sunday became a priority. Sunday was a whole different tune compared to Saturday. The day was overcast with a breeze as we headed straight to the BMX Park final competition. With great runs from Daniel Sandoval and Drew Bezanson, local Austinite Chase Hawk took the gold with a great run on the course. One of the events many people were excited for was the new Stadium SUPER Trucks Finals. 19-year-old Apdaly Lopez from Mexico took the gold as he held the lead the majority of this race. With a few crashes and one that stopped the race for more than 20 minutes, the Stadium SUPER Trucks quickly became a fan favorite. Due to some strong winds, a couple Moto X competitions and demos were canceled; instead the COTA crowd made their way to the Street Skate finals. With a huge crowd looking on, Nyjah Huston, Luan Oliveira, Alec Majerus, Ryan Sheckler, Chaz Ortiz, and more skated for the gold. Huston ended up being triumphant, taking the gold in the last competition of the Games. Looking back on the weekend, X Games Austin was great. Despite a few bumps in the road, it was an amazing experience, and I was happy to be able to shoot some photos of some amazing athletes. Check out the full results of all the competitions here and a ton of my photos below. Also, check out the RH Instagram for videos and more photo coverage from the weekend.

Virgil Solis

RH Co-founder...photographer...food lover.

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