Mykel Larrin might be the X Games’ busiest athlete this weekend.
Fatigue is a price the 30-year-old stuntman says he’s willing to pay to represent BMX, a sport that’s become a “lifestyle” he first adopted during his childhood on the western shores of Lake Michigan.
The Racine, Wis., native is set to become only the second BMX athlete to compete in three disciplines — Park, Vert and Big Air — in the same X Games. He started Thursday night competing in the BMX Vert final, only hours after his practice runs on the MegaRamp and Park courses.
“It’s a huge privilege to be here now doing something that hasn’t been done in a long time,” Larrin said. “And kind of have my name in the same sentence with [Dave] Mirra, [Dennis] McCoy and all those guys, I mean that’s a huge honor.”
Taking part in three disciplines wasn’t on Larrin’s radar until an invite came to the X Games’ BMX Park qualifier in Boise. He crushed his runs in Idaho, leading to a win and first-time bid to the BMX Park competition.
Really, competing on the park course is a throwback for Larrin. He grew up biking through skateparks in eastern Wisconsin. Initial tricks were learned in concrete bowls and over rail-studded ramps.
“The Vert and Big Air, those were things that were already outside the box for me,” Larrin said. “So when the invite came for the park qualifier, I was all over it. This is a cool opportunity. I get to tap back into being 12 all over again.”
Passing the torch
Adam Jones is the owner of six X Games medals and has just about seen it all in the past 13 summers. So Jones said he’s content as the lone American representative entering Moto X Freestyle on Friday night, even if he admittedly isn’t aiming for the podium like previous years. His last medal, a silver, came five years ago in Los Angeles.
Jones, who turns 34 on Monday, already did his part as an innovator. He pushed boundaries in the mid-2000s with creations such as the back-flip Cordova and Shaolin flip.
“I’m happy about where I’m at, still think I ride really well and have a style people don’t have,” Jones said. “But I’m not doing the double back flip, front-flip combos, the really gnarly tricks guys are doing that it takes to win.”
At 17 years old, Jagger Eaton has had a breakout year as a professional since winning the Skateboard Street Amateur’s competition last summer in Minneapolis. He debuted in the X Games Street competitions in May, taking home silver during the runs in Norway. Now he’ll compete in both Street and Park courses this weekend.
Eaton, who was the youngest-ever X Games competitor at 11 years old in 2012, is happy moving away from the daunting MegaRamp on which he got his start.
“I’m glad I’m able to skate Park and Street now,” Eaton said. “Mega was very stressful for me, and for my father most definitely.”