The first X Games take place in Mongolia
By Malou Rose and S.Tserenbaljir
As the popularity and variety of outdoor activities in community spaces around UB rose in big numbers this summer amongst the youth, organizers believed this was the perfect time to show their support and host competitions that included skateboarding, inline skating, BMX and trail bikes.
It was a prime location, set in front of the monuments of national heroes Chinggis Khaan and Damdin Sukhbaatar and the Government Palace. It was a typically grand, Mongolian blue sky day as a crowd gathered around specially designed ramps that around 55 competitors used to show off their skills as they competed for gold, silver and bronze medals in categories such as “Highest Jump” for all sports; a fun “Spin Race” for skateboarders, where they had to start by spinning themselves several times around their vertical boards before racing, spinning again and racing back; a “Speed Slalom” course for inline skaters; and “Street Freestyle” a timed competition across all sports, to name a few. Custom made trophies were awarded at the end of the day to the overall best entrant in each sport.
First place for skateboarding’s Highest Ollie was earned by Erdenedalai Purev with a 62 cm jump. Odmandakh Bataa won the skateboarding Spin Race and the top three places for Best Skateboarding Street Style went to Erdenedalai Purev, Odmandakh Bataa, and Orgio.
As well as being an exciting event for all those competing, it was also educational for those watching, having never before seen BMX riders jumping from one platform to another on one wheel, skateboarders performing “kickflips”, or skaters speeding up ramps to perform 360 degree spins. All these achievements and more are known as “tricks” and represent the “extreme” edge that moves these sports beyond their basic recreational capacity. The event was meant for the audience to be inspired by competitors and raise more interest in the featured sports.
Another highlight of the event was the introduction of a new electronic moped. Nikel Ganbaa built the machine and hopes to expand the industry in Mongolia.
During the X-Games competition the founder of Nikel Ganbaa, G.Dashnyam spoke to reporters.
-When did you make the electronic moped?
-Since 2010, Ariunskvh, Aldaraa, Khishgee, Gantugs and Monjig were making electronic mopeds and bicycles by hand. We had our own department and assembled mopeds and bicycles named “Zehilhaan” and “Zetro”.
-How much is the moped and what is its top speed?
- We made two differed mopeds. One is a car battery-powered moped, and its high speed is 35 kilometers per hour. The other is named “Litvang” and its high speed is 50 kilometer an hour. Now they are a little bit expensive because we made all the parts by hand.
-Where will you sell the mopeds?
- We plan to present our mopeds to City Administrators. And we are also planning to include a “Support Manufacturers” project. If they support our production, we will prepare over winter and can start production in Spring. We proudly say it’s better than Chinese-made mopeds. We them to meet international standards and can provide a longer warranty. The important thing is that people should understand it’s handcrafted and made in Mongolia.
Organizing the event were local NGOs, Dagina Khot, Mongolian Extreme Games Club in collaboration with Mongolian Uukhai Skateboarding Association and was affiliated with the Capital City Art and Culture Authority.
X Games is an extreme sports event that started in 1995 in Rhode Island, USA, and is organized every year by the U.S. sports broadcaster ESPN. This year saw the global expansion of a six-event calendar held in three host cities: Barcelona, Spain; Munich, Germany; and Foz do Iguacu, Brazil. The event features competitions in sports such as Moto X Speed and Style, Skateboard Vert, Rally Car Lites, Mountain Bike Slope Style and BMX Downhill. The winter version of the games include Ski Big Air, Snowmobile Freestyle, Snowboard Super Pipe.
The weekend also included the “Bicycle Ulaanbaatar” parade, an event to promote a project to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion. One part of the project is the construction of a bicycle road, a project that has been in discussion for some time, but still hasn’t seen completion. The “Bicycle Ulaanbaatar” bicycle road project has been presented to the government. The range of the project includes the construct a 143.7 kilometer bicycle road and 99 bicycle parking locations. If this project is approved, construction will take place over three years. People supporting this project rode from Chinggis Square to East Four Road and from West Four Road back to Chinggis Square.
The path has been laid for future Mongolian X Games to grow in its level of competition, arena, audience and competitors. The event also has the potential to uncover the next Mongolian athlete to enter international championships around the world and become a sponsored professional. X Games will be held annually, and a winter X Games is presently under review.
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