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LA goes X-Games crazy!
Around the Academy:

Tony Hawk in action on his skateboard (Shazamm/ESPN)
Tony Hawk - the most famous extreme skateboarder
There was a time when skateboarding, BMX and inline skating were for rebellious teenagers out to annoy their parents.

But these extreme sports are now highly respected followed by millions - and all eyes will be the X-Games in Los Angeles which begin on 16 August.

The competition is now in its ninth year, with athletes travelling across the world to prove they can defy gravity on skates, bikes or boards.

While the line-up at this year's competition is dominated by Americans, the Brits are out to dash their medal hopes in the bike events.

Phil Dolan in action at the Bike Stunt Flatland X Games VIII 2002 (Shazamm/ESPN)
Phil Dolan shows off his BMX skills

Former gold medallist Jamie Bestwick, who's originally from Nottingham but now lives in the States, is tipped to give the eight-time champion Dave Mirra a ride for his money.

Other British biking stars include Chester's Alistair Whitton, last year's silver medallist Simon Tabron, who won bronze in 2002 and London's Phil Dolan, who also won bronze.

Although women are only able to compete in the wakeboarding (a cross between water skiing and snowboarding) and inline skating competitions, there's one star who'll be breaking down barriers in California.

Six-time gold medallist Fabiola da Silva from Brazil will be competing against the men in the inline skate vert competition.

Meanwhile Guildford's Jenny Logue competes against da Silva in the inline park discipline.

Simon Tabron in action (Shazamm/ESPN)
Catching air - and lots of it

While you can expect a few cuts and bruises for your tricks, there's plenty of money on offer to numb those aches and pains.

The top stars can earn six-figure incomes through competitions, sponsorship and video games.

The most famous "extreme" star is skateboarder Tony Hawk, who landed the first ever 900 degree turn in 1999.

Hawk's success since the 1980s has brought him multi-million dollar rewards and worldwide stardom - as well as a guest appearance on The Simpsons!

Other sports featured at the Los Angeles event include wakeboarding, moto X, which involves motorbikes being ridden on a course set up to attempt high-flying tricks mid-air, and the granddaddy cool of all extreme sports, surfing.


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OTHER SPORT ::
:: Sport Academy has moved

Did you know?
Skateboarding was invented in the 1930s
American kids were bored of rollerskates and decided to attach them to a single piece of wood
BMXing literally took off in the 1970s
Motorcross fans who were too young to ride motorbikes started to race their pedal bikes on dirt trails
Legend has it rollerskating was started when a frustrated ice skater wanted to skate during the summer months when there was no ice
The inline skate took off in 1979 when ice hockey player Scott Olson bought a pair of roller skates and added better wheels and a heel brake


FROM THE BBC >>
:: CBBC's guide to extreme sports
:: BBCi Lancashire's 360 views of skateparks
:: BBCi Leeds extreme sports

INTERNET LINKS >>
:: X-Games

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


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