2009 X GAMES 15 ADAPTIVE MOTO X & SKATE JAM
Live Beyond Limits
At ESPN Summer X Games 15
Los Angeles, CA July 30th 2009
Thanks to the ESPN Summer X Games, the nationally-recognized nonprofit Adaptive Action Sports made a giant leap forward in its goal to create pathways for adaptive athletes to compete in internationally-recognized action sports events by helping to establish adaptive divisions in these events.
For the second year, AAS Executive Director/ESPN Sports Organizer Daniel Gale and AAS Co-Founder/Element Eden Advocate Amy Purdy worked with ESPN staff. Together, they organized the Adaptive Skateboard Park Jam demo and the Adaptive Super X Moto X race. Both events highlight the skills of extreme sports enthusiasts who live with permanent physical disabilities.
These 2009 X Games events are historic to the adaptive community, says Purdy, who herself is a double leg amputee. It was incredible to watch our adaptive athletes being showcased in the premier action sports event in the world. Viewers saw adaptive skills and ability, not disability. These X Games have helped raise the level of expectation, and respect for, permanently disabled individuals.
The Adaptive Skateboard Park Jam featured seven adaptive riders including AAS Advocates and amputees Oscar Loreto, Evan Strong and Buddy Elias; and arm-paralyzed Rob Nelson. AAS also invited several other adaptive riders to join in; vision-impaired Mike Rogers; wheelchair rider Aaron Fotheringham; and single leg amputee Jon Comer. Although the skateboard session was not being judged, all of the riders pushed themselves to new limits in front of the Home Depot Center audience.
The adaptive motocross event graduated from a demo in 2008 to a televised, medaled competition in this years games. AAS Athlete/Advocate Chris Ridgway won the gold for the race, which features permanently disabled athletes competing on dirt-bikes in a rugged five-lap dirt circuit. Ridgway, who also won last years demo, lost his leg in 2002 following a 1995 accident during a professional motocross race.
To honor his success, AAS nominated Ridgway to the Guinness Book of Worlds Records. His name and photograph will appear in the 2011 edition with a World Record for his achievement at Summer X Games 15.
AAS was supported in its X Games efforts by The Extremity Games Network, Element Skateboards, VANS and Okoto Clothing.
2008 X Games Adaptive Moto X and Skate Jam Online Media: