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Thursday, 29 August, 2002, 17:23 GMT 18:23 UK
Extreme Grandstand heads to Spain
Richard Kirby heads for the stars on his skateboard
Expect a fast, furious and rather unusual Grandstand
Viewers generally tune in to Grandstand expecting a mix of racing, rugby, football and golf - the staple diet of British sports fans.

This weekend promises to shake up that usual mix and offer something a little different, a little extreme.

For the first time in 44 years of Grandstand, the jumps will be ramps, and contestants will be riding backwards in an effort to win more points.


I had a few beers and chilled out before the events
Marc Churchill
The show comes from Barcelona, host of the European X games qualifying leg for the World Championships in Philadelphia, and is fronted by Radio One disc jockey Nemone and semi-professional skateboarder Marc Churchill.

Nemone may seem an unusual choice as presenter, but the bubbly DJ is a keen snowboarder and was delighted to take up the challenge.

"It was an amazing experience and the first time I have been that close to a ramp," she said.

"I've wanted to get on a skateboard for quite a while, but what they do on those ramps with the boards is breathtaking.

"The atmosphere was built around big tunes, with the stunning backdrop of the Mediterranean just behind the stadium."

BMX legend Trevor King
Trevor King heads for the skies on his BMX
Viewers will gain an extra insight into the competition from co-presenter Marc Churchill who arrived expecting a leisurely few days, but instead found himself competing in the tournament.

The original plan was for Churchill to skate around the course with a camera, rather like Ski Sunday's guides to championship courses, but organisers ESPN said this would be impossible unless he competed.

So the 24-year-old decided to get on his board and qualify, which he trained for in his usual style.

"I had a few beers and chilled out before the events," Churchill said.

"I've been skating now since I was seven, and it's pretty similar stuff to what I do at the moment, so it wasn't a problem.

Churchill has travelled all over the world to compete in skating competitions, and recently finished second at this summer's Urban games in Clapham.

He adds the technical know-how to the presenting team, while Nemone takes a look at the event from the supporter's view.

The 29-year-old DJ says the highlight of the three days of competition was watching Britain take the top-two spots in the BMX category, emphasising the quality of bikers this country can produce.

"They do all seem laid back but it is a sport," Nemone said.

"The prospect of throwing bodies around those ramps is terrifying.

"This country had a great World Cup and a great Commonwealth Games, and we just want to convey the boarder's energy - and show that Britain can win a few things too."

Tune in to Saturday Grandstand from 1440BST for X-treme Games coverage.


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See also:

04 Aug 02 | Funny Old Game
30 Dec 00 | Other Sports
04 Dec 00 | Other Sports
27 Dec 00 | Other Sports
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