Following events in Wuhan, Chongqing, and Tianjin, the Beijing competition represented the last chance for participants to qualify for the finals, which will be held in Shanghai on September 11 and 12.
The adrenaline-fueled competition featured 20 skaters, some of whom were winners from previous stops. Skateboard lovers gathered to watch some spectacular ramp tricks as well as some good ol’ street skating in the nearby square.
“Because of the pandemic, international competitions were postponed,” commented Jillian Chen, a member of the organizing team. “This event is a chance to cultivate Chinese skaters and offer them a platform so they can be discovered.”
The Beijing event saw some extremely young winners (see above): Jia Qining, a 13-year-old skater from Northeast China’s Jilin province, performed a spotless routine that won him the gold medal, while 8-year-olds Cao Shiqi and Meng Lingyan respectively snapped up the silver and bronze medals.
“Some established and professional skaters participated, but we also had emerging talents from all over the country [joining us],” said Chen, who explained how the ramp tour is meant to be a platform for skaters of all ages to socialize and improve their skills.
Besides skateboarding, the event included street dance shows and an erhu (a Chinese string instrument) performance. The festivities came to a close with an after-party at Beijing PH Club, known for its hip hop-bangin’ ragers.
Organized annually by American broadcaster ESPN, the X Games features a variety of extreme sports, from skateboarding to snowboarding and motocross.
After debuting in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1995, the event expanded to Asia in 1998 and has since taken place in different countries each year. China has hosted the X Games several times, with the most recent being in Shanghai in 2019.
The ongoing China Skateboard Ramp Tour is a spin-off event that zooms in on skateboarding, a sport that has enjoyed growing popularity in the country in recent years.
All images courtesy of X Games China
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