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Josh Sheehan took Bronze in Moto X Best Trick
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Monster Energy Dominates X Games Norway

Aug 312019

A spectacular one-day event is in the history books! Monster Energy, the official energy drink of X Games Norway 2019, congratulates its athletes on a hugely successful day of competing at the world’s premier action sports event. The world-class team dominated with a total of 13 medals across Ski, Skateboarding, Snowboarding, and Moto X disciplines, claiming four gold, six silver and three bronze medals.

Today’s four gold medal-winning performances included Monster Energy’s Jarryd McNeil from Yarrawonga, Australia, who claimed gold in Moto X Best Whip and now is tied with Travis Pastrana for most motocross gold in X Games history with nine total. Also in motocross, Australian Jackson Strong emerged on top of a stacked field of riders in Moto X Best Trick. The Monster Energy Skateboard Street event saw an upset victory by New Jersey’s own Ishod Wair. And the Men’s Snowboard Big Air final saw the emotional return of Canadian Monster rider Max Parrot from battling cancer to taking home what is already his sixth gold medal.
 
Now in its fourth year and supported by Monster Energy as the official drink sponsor, X Games Norway showcased a unique mixture of action sports in today’s ten-hour event: The world’s best athletes across Ski, Snowboard, Skateboard and – for the first time at X Games Norway – Freestyle Motocross disciplines battled for X Games medals at Telenor Arena in front of a live audience and connected viewers worldwide.
 
The sheer fact that snow sports were featured at X Games Norway – in the month of August! – deserves special mention: Over the course of nine days, the X Games team in Oslo constructed a massive artificial snow jump that reached all the way through the arena’s roof. Riders dropped into the dry-slope ramp from outside the arena, starting on a small platform on top of a tall tower accessed by elevator and landed in front of the stoked crowd below.

The Monster Energy team’s medal run started in today’s Moto X Best Trick final, where 27-year-old Jackson Strong from Lockhart, Australia, took home his sixth gold in the discipline on the strength of a face-melting no-handed front flip over the gap. He was joined on the podium by Monster Energy teammate Josh Sheehan, who took home bronze with a signature no-handed double backflip. Both Sheehan and Strong are now the proud owners of eleven X Games medals, with Strong having claimed silver or better in every Moto X Best Trick event he has entered.

Next, the action switched gears from motocross to snow sports for the Women’s Snowboard Big Air event. In a final featuring six of the world’s most accomplished freestyle snowboarders, 14-year-old Japanese snowboard phenom Kokomo Murase held her own despite her young age. Progressive moves like backside 720 mute over the gap and technical frontside double cork 900 Indy earned the prodigy her second X Games medal (1 gold, 1 silver) after having won the event in Norway last year.

The snow action continued with the Women’s Ski Big Air final, featuring six elite riders in a battle for X Games gold. When all was said and done, 21-year-old Giulia Tanno from Lenzerheide, Switzerland took silver on the strength of two flawless aerials over the gap. Freshly returned from an ankle fracture sustained in late February, Giulia stomped a perfect backside double cork 1080 safety grab and a progressive frontside 900 tailgrab to claim silver, bringing her X Games total to three medals (2 silver, 1 bronze).

Next up, the roar of engines returned to Telenor Arena with the Moto X Best Whip final. As the world’s best riders attempted to land the most contorted ‘Whip’ aerials – throwing their bike sideways in the air – over the massive dirt gap, two Monster Energy athletes clinched the top spots: Australian motocross icon Jarryd McNeil proved his versatility by stomping a fully inverted turndown whip and a signature seat-bounce whip for first place. McNeil’s ninth career gold medal ties him with Travis Pastrana for most motocross gold medals in X Games history and he also surpasses BMX athlete Vince Byron (14 medals) as the most decorated Australian athlete in X Games history. Following closely behind, Monster Energy’s Genki Watanabe took home silver by putting on a masterclass in air and style.

Continuing the focus on aerial moves – and Monster Energy’s gold medal run – the action commenced with the Men’s Snowboard Big Air final. Making an emotional return to the contest circuit after a battle with Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer, Canadian Monster rider Max Parrot reclaimed the top spot: A mind-boggling Cab triple cork 1620 Indy and a technical frontside triple cork mute with a perfect landing over the gap earned the Big Air pioneer the gold medal, raising his career X Games count to ten medals (6 gold, 4 silver). Parrot was joined on the podium by Swedish wunderkind Sven Thorgren, who stoked out the Scandinavian crowd – including his banner-waving ‘Svennis’ fan club – with high-tech airs for a well-deserved silver medal finish.

Speaking of well deserved, the Monster Energy Men’s Skateboard Street event marked a long-overdue victory for Monster team rider Ishod Wair. Usually known to shine in the streets rather than the contest arena, the bona-fide Thrasher Magazine ‘Skater of the Year’ covered the entire course with a perfect run that continued well after the buzzer. Highlights such as kickflip backside lipslide the handrail, backside Smith grind the A-frame rail and blunt kickflip the quarterpipe earned the 27-year-old New Jersey local his first-ever X Games gold, bringing his total count to two medals (1 gold, 1 bronze).

 

Joining Wair on the podium, Brazilian tech skating powerhouse and Monster Energy teammate Kelvin Hoefler did not get the flawless run he wanted, but showcased enough difficult tricks to claim a bronze medal. Finishing at 79.00 points, Kelvin walked away with a strong bronze medal finish, his fifth career X Games medal (2 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze). 

Rounding out the day’s snow sports action, the Men’s Ski Big Air saw Monster Energy’s Henrik Harlaut unveil a new move never seen in competition before: A left double cork 1260 bio to safety grab and a switch left 1440 mute earned the Swedish freeski phenom the silver medal. He now ties his mentor, American freeski icon Tanner Hall, for most X Games ski medals at 11. Harlaut was joined on the podium by fellow Monster Energy rider Alex Beaulieu-Marchand who hit the gap with a switch left triple cork 1260 safety grab and a highly technical double bio 1080 Cuban grab for a strong third-place finish.

As the final event of an action-packed day at X Games Norway 2019, Moto X QuarterPipe High Air featured five of the world’s best motocross freestyle aerialists aiming for the rafters. The goal: Landing the highest possible airs into a 24-foot banked landing obstacle during a 15-minute jam session. After a heated head-to-head battle with defending gold medalist Corey Creed, Monster Energy’s Axell Hodges walked away with a well-earned silver medal for posting an 11.93 meters (39.14 feet) aerial.

 

It’s even more of an impressive achievement considering that Hodges has just returned from an ankle fracture sustained during a motorcycle distance jump world record attempt on the “Evel Live 2” TV show in July.

 

Overall, the Monster Energy team crushed it in motocross at X Games Norway 2019 with a total of five medals (2 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze) in just one day. With the world’s best in Ski, Skateboard, Snowboard and Moto X competitions all under roof during a ten-hour live event, this fourth edition of X Games Norway surely was one for the history books. Thanks to everyone for tuning in – see you next time!

 

X Games fans in the United States who missed the action today can tune in tomorrow: The entire broadcast will re-air on Sunday, September 1, on the ESPN News channel starting at 7:00 AM EST. Additionally, ABC Television will air highlights coverage as part of the World of X Games series, kicking off with ‘Best of Ski & Snowboard at X Games Norway 2019’ on September 8 at 2:00 PM EST, followed by ‘Best of Skateboard & Moto X at X Games Norway 2019’ on September 15 at 2:30 PM EST.

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