First Practice Runs Are Done in Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY - With just two days to go before semifinals and three before the main event (which will be broadcast on NBC Saturday), the first practice runs have gone down and the athletes are getting hyped. Check out our Instagram for some highlights and hit up #NitroWorldGames for more from the athletes themselves.
Last night we got a chance to chat with Travis Pastrana, Gregg Duffy, and Brodie Carmichael, who all arrived in SLC yesterday. Duffy and Carmichael didn't want to reveal what they're going to be attempting in the FMX Best Trick competition on Saturday, but we were able to get a few other anonymous sources to confirm some of the things they've been working on.
Duffy, you'll recall from that video right there, landed the World's First FMX double frontflip at last year's NWG, which was beyond enormous. It was so big that some of us were worried that after such a foundational trick was the climax of last year's competition, this year we'd have nowhere to go. Well, we're not going to reveal here what we heard, but we will say this: Our worries that the FMX Best Trick contest couldn't be better than last year were absolutely unfounded. Buckle up, FMX fans, because these riders are not messing around.
The first athletes to hit the ramps for practice were the Freestyle Motocross competitors. The event has been slightly revamped this year, but at its core it's still the same: Competitors will perform eight tricks in specific categories to demonstrate that they can go big in more ways than one. Check out the categories on the FMX page here. Returning champion Levi Sherwood took a few practice runs today, and he landed a huge trick into the airbag lander. We don't want to give that one away either, but here's a hint: It's not a World's First, but it's a trick very few riders have landed.
Javier Villegas and Taka Higashino both landed big frontflips onto the airbag that have us pretty excited for the competition to get under way. We also saw Josh Sheehan, Leo Fini, Davide Rossi, Adam Jones, Blake Williams, Steve Mini, Fred Kyrillos, and Harry Bink -- all out riding, getting a feel for this year's setup.
Each event had a designated practice time today, and the athletes were dialing in their runs in BMX Triple Hit, Scooter, Skate, and BMX Best Tricks as well. The first practices were the official kick-off to the upcoming competition. Well, the actual official kick-off came earlier in the day when Utah Governor Gary Herbert got a personal tour of the ramp setups from Travis Pastrana before the two of them held a press conference for local media with some of the early-bird athletes.
Overall the day was a success, and we can't wait to see how the riders tune up with one more day of practice before the semifinals on Friday. Then it's full-steam ahead for the main event on June 24, broadcast on NBC at 8 ET / 7 CT / 8 PT. All the details on how to watch are available at NitroWorldGames.Live.