The ESPN X Games franchise celebrates its 20-year legacy in action sports by revealing today the first of 20 most iconic first trick moments in its “20 Years, 20 Firsts” campaign at XGames.com. Each succeeding week, new moments will be released leading up to the inaugural X Games Austin June 5-8. Fans will have a chance to cast their votes for their favorite X Games “First” moment beginning in May at XGames.com.
X Games Senior Director Marketing, Content, Amy Lupo has been with the franchise since its inception in 1995. She shares some of her favorite moments and her perspective on the franchise’s longevity.
What does celebrating the 20th anniversary of the X Games brand mean for ESPN?
We’ve come a long way since Fort Adams State Park in Rhode Island [one of the New England sites for the inaugural X Games]. The growth of the industry the last 20 years is a testament to ESPN’s commitment to the sports, athletes and fans. The dedication and passion of the people behind this project — staff, athletes, organizers, sponsors, fans — has made the X Games such a success.
What is one personal “First” X Games moment that has been particularly memorable to you?
There are many moments that have stood out from a sports perspective – highlighted for me by the incredibly fragile silence in STAPLES Center as 17,000 people watched in awe as Travis Pastrana completed the first double back flip. From an event perspective, the 2003 X Games at the LA Coliseum is right up there. I remember leaning out from the press center looking down into the parking lot and seeing smoke from a BBQ. They were tailgating! At the X Games! A true sporting event always features tailgating and we had arrived.
As the “First” X Games Austin, Texas kicks off this June, what competitions are you most looking forward to?
It’s always an extra source of pride to be part of a first-time event and our upcoming Austin event is no different. In June, I’m really excited to see the return of BMX Dirt to the U.S. event. Austin has such deep-rooted BMX affinity that Dirt is sure to be well received by the riders and fans.