Last week we reported that ESPN had cancelled the Euro X Games in Tignes along with Summer X Games events in Munich, Barca and Brazil and while online reaction to the news was surprisingly “Meh…” including this awesome quote on the Whitelines facebook page from Peter Wagner:
Nobody needs this “X Games”… Snowboarding is like a free bird. You can´t put it in a cage. It will die.
And many other “it was a loada bollocks anyways” type chat, we wondered how the actual snow pros who competed in the event felt about the news.
First up UK slopestyle charger Aimee Fuller:
Totally gutted to hear the news about Euro X, it was the first X Games I ever competed in back in 2010 and it was one of the best events on the calendar. It’s as close as us Brits will ever get to competing in an international event on home turf, the crowds are always buzzing and there are plenty of Brits slopeside to support. It will be greatly missed in our events calendar, sunny days, a fun course and great crowds!
Then three times X Games gold medallist (including one Euro gold) Jenny Jones said:
What a shame that the Euro X games has been cancelled, such a great event in Europe. It drew so many high level, high profile riders from all over the world. There was such a great atmosphere with all the spectators who came and gave their support. I think Europe still has some awesome snowboard events though, Burton European Open, Pleasure Jam, O’Neill Evolution to name a few. I’m just grateful that I had the opportunity to compete in the X games in Tignes and I will definitely miss it. Au Revoir Euro X.
Then our current cover girl Kjersti Buaas from Norway had this to say:
It’s sad to see these events die because it’s been a great influence for snowboarding, skateboarding and other boardsports in Europe. I hope that it won’t be long until we see them or similar concepts back on the program 🙂
The triple Olympian and Roxy snow team manager Lesley McKenna said simply:
BUMMER!! What a shame!
On the skate side we asked Hannah Bailey who was at the Barcelona X Games where she witnessed the first ever Park event where the likes of Lizzie Armanto were seriously throwing some moves down what she thought. She said:
Wow am I glad I went to the Barcelona stop of the summer X Games now! It was an amazing chance for the global girls skate scene to unite and for me to get content. I did a record number of interviews! Many of the US girl skaters had never been over to Europe and as it’s a small scene, combining [the two continents] can only be a good thing. Having it and the Euro winter X games over here is really important in my opinion personally and financially. We’re a growing scene and Europe is more than interested in following the X games! Summer and winter. The US stops are great but hard to relate to and watch (best stay up late and pay for ESPN!). I want to watch and support European athletes on home soil. Did Europe fail the X Games test? Not enough interest or investment? More time is needed to grow it here so I hope they reconsider.
And our German editor Anna Langer, who lives in Munich, where another of the summer X Games stops was held (albeit with no women’s contests) had this to say:
I was super surprised about the cancellation and frankly a bit disbelieving too. We’d been sooo stoked to finally have the X Games in our city, boardsports capital of Germany that we are. With the Alps so close, one of the most famous river waves of the continent and so many boardsport brands as well as magazines located here, we felt we had long deserved to be on this list! So having this taken away after just one try really sucks. On the other hand many riders were not at all happy how the whole event went down – business people not involved in the sports at all were invited to VIP lounges while kids spending their very last cents on these sports couldn’t get in… It seemed more like a massive TV happening where viewers at home were more important than fans, athletes or anyone else actually involved in the sport. It feels like everything is just all about the money these days and we need to be really carefully the sports we’re so passionate about are not losing their soul.
Poignant last point from Anna there, though I don’t think the X Games were ever about anything other than making money from the mainstream, which need not have been a bad thing if they’d got heaps of new kids stoked on the sports along the way. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. We’ll have to wait for the next generation of Aimee Fullers and Kjersti Buaas’ to come through and when they say “I first knew I wanted to turn pro when I saw the girl going huuuuge at the Euro X Games, Tignes 2013” we’ll know we’ve made a big mistake but of course by then it’ll be way too late.