From action sports fan to ESPN Radio intern to ESPN talent, X Games Austin co-host Brandon Graham shares his story via personal photos provided to Front Row.
Graham, 29, who attended his first X Games in San Francisco in 1999, joined Louie Vito to make their debut as co-hosts at X Games Aspen this past January. They return as the faces of the inaugural X Games Austin next week from June 5-8.
1. Brandon Graham, 3, learns how to water ski
“Growing up with a boat, it was skiing and then eventually wakeboarding every summer.”
2. Graham, 12, had to “sponge” (master “boogie boarding”) before being allowed to surf
“A 12-year-old just wrapping up a sesh [session]. My Dad said before I could get a surfboard I had learn how to paddle, so I was forced to boogie board for a little while. Not the proudest era of my life.”
3. Graham, 13, discovers snowboarding
“I was a season pass-holder at Sierra at Tahoe for nearly 10 years. Skied until I was 13 years old. It was in seventh grade that I started snowboarding and have not touched a ski since.”
4. Graham, 16, as a dirt biker
“My Dad actually still races dirt bikes at 51, so he got me riding quite a bit in high school.”
5. Graham, 21, interviewing surf icon Rob Machado
“Working as an ESPN Radio intern, going out and recording podcast interviews with legends like Rob Machado was surreal. I couldn’t believe [I could have] this type of access.”
6. Graham, 28, working in X Games broadcast booth with Tony Hawk
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could call [skateboarding legend and X Games analyst] Tony Hawk my broadcast partner! This is the same guy I watched live in the flesh land the ‘900’ 14 years earlier at the X Games in San Francisco!”
7. Graham, 28, with Louie Vito making their debut as X Games co-hosts in Aspen
“I still don’t feel like it’s set in yet, being the host of X. To me this role has always been a Mt. Everest of sorts. It’s been a crazy ride getting to this point, but a remarkable blessing that I wouldn’t trade for anything. The best part of it all is that we’re just getting started. I really believe the best days of X Games are still ahead of us and I look forward to being a part of it.”