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FMX and BMX Semifinalists Set for the Inaugural Games

FMX and BMX Semifinalists Set for the Inaugural Games

The semifinalists in FMX and BMX are set for the first-ever Nitro World Games, with top athletes from around the world qualifying to compete on July 15 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. Seven world-class FMXers join the previously announced 10 semifinalists, and nine BMX stars have been added to the previous 10 semifinalists. Among the additions are veterans and up-and-comers, ensuring a wide-open field and a tight competition for the eight slots that will compete for the trophies on July 16 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Among the FMX riders who made it through in open qualifying are Javier Villegas, Christian Meyer, and Jarryd McNeil. Steve Mini made the grade as a wildcard. On the BMX side, Andy Buckworth punched his ticket for both events, as did Brian Fox and Brandon Loupos. Perhaps the most stunning qualifiers in Best Tricks are Gavin Godfrey and Brandon Schmidt, who are both all-around action sports athletes who don't primarily focus on BMX.

The complete list of semifinalists is below, followed by the full press release.

FMX

Rob Adelberg (AUS)
Kyle Demelo (CAN)
Taka Higashino (JPN)
Adam Jones (USA)
Jarryd McNeil (AUS)
Maikel Melero (ESP)
Christian Meyer (ESP)
Steve Mini (AUS)
Clinton Moore (AUS)
Libor Podmol (CZE)
David Rinaldo (FRA)
Alastair Sayer (RSA)
Josh Sheehan (AUS)
Levi Sherwood (NZL)
Dany Torres (ESP)
Cal Vallone (USA)
Javier Villegas (CHI)

BMX Triple Hit

Nick Bruce (USA)
Andy Buckworth (AUS)
Pat Casey (USA)
Alex Coleborn (GBR)
Daniel Dhers (VEN)
Kurtis Downs (USA)
TJ Ellis (USA)
James Foster (USA)
Brian Fox (USA)
Brandon Loupos (AUS)
Logan Martin (AUS)
Kevin Peraza (USA)
Daniel Sandoval (USA)
Colton Satterfield (USA)
Ryan Taylor (GBR)
Ben Voyles (USA)
Colton Walker (USA)
Ben Wallace (GBR)
Zack Warden (USA)

BMX Best Tricks

Andrew Ahumada (AUS)
Andy Buckworth (AUS)
Vince Byron (AUS)
Pat Casey (USA)
Kurtis Downs (USA)
James Foster (USA)
Brian Fox (USA)
Gavin Godfrey (USA)
Dominic Kirkham (USA)
Alex Landeros (USA)
Brandon Loupos (AUS)
Todd Meyn (AUS)
Jed Mildon (NZL)
Colton Satterfield (USA)
Brandon Schmidt (USA)
Jaie Toohey (AUS)
Zack Warden (USA)
Matty Whyatt (AUS)
Ryan Williams (AUS)

Press release follows:



FMX AND BMX FINAL QUALIFIERS SET FOR NITRO WORLD GAMES

Six Riders Advance to the FMX Qualifying Event, In Addition To One Newly Announced Wildcard, Joining 10 Athletes Invited Directly to the Final Qualifiers Taking Place July 15 at Rice-Eccles Stadium

Six Riders Advance From Pre-Qualifiers in Both BMX Triple Hit and BMX Best Tricks, In Addition To Three Newly Announced Wildcards, Joining Athletes Invited Directly to the Final Qualifying Event, Also Taking Place July 15 at Rice-Eccles Stadium

LOS ANGELES, CA (Wednesday – June 29, 2016) – Following the announcement of the Top 10 list of athletes invited directly to the Nitro World Games FMX Final Qualifiers, six more riders have now punched their tickets to the next round of the highly anticipated competition during a pre-qualifier event held in Southern California. Also just announced, one additional rider will now join the field as a wildcard.

Just as FMX has gone global, the Nitro World Games FMX lineup includes athletes from across the planet. Javier Villegas, born in Santiago, Chile and the first non-European rider to win the FIM FMX World Championship, topped the leader board during pre-qualifiers. Villegas has toured worldwide, including with Nitro Circus on its current North American trek, but is now looking to step up to the next level in major competition. Christian Meyer, who came in second, is an up-and-comer from Spain (first place in the 2015 X Pilots FMX Tour; 2014 Spanish FMX Championship winner). Meyer also trains at a second home in Argentina. Alastair Sayer – an X Games medalist who started riding in the Kalahari Desert in his native Botswana before his sixth birthday and has raced on the South African circuit - claimed third. Australia’s Jarryd McNeil, took fourth. McNeil, with three X Games gold medals to his credit (including two golds this year) now wants to show the world the full extent of his skills. Center of Gravity winner Kyle Demelo from Canada and Metal Mulisha member Cal Vallone from the U.S. round out the qualifiers. These six will join a hand picked Top 10 list of riders, chosen by an independent panel of industry leaders and former athletes, in the next phase of the competition.

Joining the pre-selected invitees and pre-qualifiers as a wildcard selection is veteran rider Steve Mini (Australia). These 17 athletes will clash at Rice-Eccles Stadium on July 15 - the day before the Nitro World Games. Only the eight highest scoring riders will advance to the inaugural Nitro World Games event on July 16. A full list of FMX riders is below. Stay tuned for the announcement of competitors for FMX Best Trick.

The BMX final qualifying lineup is also now complete. Following the announcement of athletes invited directly to the final qualifiers for BMX Best Tricks and BMX Triple Hit, additional riders have advanced from pre-qualifiers that were held at Nitro Circus’ Academy of Excellence in California earlier this month. Newly announced today, three more athletes in each competition will also be joining the field as invited wildcards.

BMX Triple Hit

In BMX Triple Hit, Brian Fox, hailing from Florida, earned the top score in the pre-qualifying round. Andy Buckworth and Brandon Loupos, both from Australia and with huge world firsts on their resumes (Superman double frontflip for Buckworth, Cash Roll tailwhip and Cash Roll double tailwhip for Loupos), took second and third. UK natives Alex Coleborn and Ryan Taylor, widely seen as two of the top park riders in the world, grabbed fourth and fifth place respectively, while Arizona’s Kevin Peraza rounded out the final list of athletes advancing from pre-qualifiers. These six athletes will join a stellar list of riders already invited to the Triple Hit Final Qualifier event, taking place on July 15 at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Three wildcard athletes were also just announced, and include Southern California’s vert master TJ Ellis, a competition favorite who famously hucks a huge frontflip tailwhip when the chips are down, the U.K.’s Ben Wallace, X Games medalist and holder of the Guinness World Record for highest backflip on a bike, as well as six-time X Games medalist, and one of the best park riders on the planet, Venezuela’s Daniel Dhers.

BMX Best Tricks

In BMX Best Tricks, Andy Buckworth and Brian Fox qualified in this event in addition to their spots on the BMX Triple Hit list, taking first and sixth place, respectively. Joining them, in a stunning development, is Nitro Circus Live all-around star Gavin Godfrey. Determined to push his skills and compete against the best in the world, Godfrey jumped at the chance to compete for a spot and astonishingly leaped into second place at the pre-qualifying event. Up-and-comers Dominic Kirkham and Alex Landeros then took third and fourth place. Brandon Schmidt is another athlete stepping up and making waves outside of his regular discipline. A snowboarder and contraptions specialist on the Nitro Circus Live tour, Schmidt shocked onlookers by placing in the top five. Three more athletes have also been added to Best Tricks as wildcard selections: Seven-time X Games medalist Vince Byron, the world’s first triple and quadruple backflipper Jed “The Warrior” Mildon, and Andrew “Mini” Ahumada, who recently battled against Ryan Williams in attempt to land the massive first BMX triple frontflip, will all compete in the July 15 Nitro World Games final qualifying event.

The 19 final qualifiers in both BMX Triple Hit and in BMX Best Tricks will clash at Rice-Eccles Stadium on July 15 - the day before the inaugural Nitro World Games. Only the eight highest scoring riders in each event will advance. See below for the full list of athletes advancing to the BMX Triple Hit and BMX Best Tricks final qualifiers.

Coming to Salt Lake City, Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, July 16 and airing in primetime in the U.S. on NBC, the Nitro World Games will feature the best in extreme and action sports’ most exciting disciplines including FMX, BMX, skate, scooter and inline.

Nitro Circus, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert and the Utah Sports Commission rocked the sports world in December 2015 when they unveiled the inaugural Nitro World Games. Created by Michael Porra and Travis Pastrana, the Nitro World Games will feature new formats and never before seen tricks. Each competition will be a final round with everything on the line, creating intensity on the track, energy in the stadium and must-see action for both digital and television viewers.

Nitro World Games is the next phase of Nitro Circus’ multi-year partnership with NBC Sports Ventures. NBC Sports will present three hours of coverage airing in primetime in the U.S. on NBC. For fans outside of the U.S. and Canada, more TV broadcast details will be announced soon (NBCUniversal International Distribution is handling the international linear and digital sales for Nitro World Games). In addition to NBC’s televised coverage, fans outside the U.S. can also watch the July 16 final on Nitro Circus’ worldwide webcast. The Nitro World Games is also a marquee destination event. Fans who want to experience the excitement in person can purchase tickets to the July 16 final. The Nitro Club VIP package is the next best thing to an all access pass at $79 per person (plus applicable service fees). These exclusive passes include the best seats in the house as well as a pre-event track walk. Nitro Club pass holders will also receive a souvenir lanyard.

For new updates, athlete qualification announcements and more about the #NitroWorldGames go to nitroworldgames.com. Fans can also follow Nitro Circus on Twitter: @nitrocircus and Facebook: www.facebook.com/NitroCircus

About Nitro Circus:

Named #22 on Forbes magazine’s 2015 list of, “America’s Most Promising Companies,” Nitro Circus continues to position itself as the world’s leading youth action sports & entertainment brand. From humble beginnings in 2003 – with Jeremy Rawle, Gregg Godfrey and soon to be action sports superstar Travis Pastrana producing DVDs from a Utah garage -- to a smash TV series which has aired in over 60 countries, Nitro Circus has exploded to global popularity. In 2012, Nitro Circus: The Movie, featuring cast members from the hit television series, was released in cinemas worldwide. In 2015, Nitro Circus announced a partnership with NBC Sports Ventures. The multi-year strategic alliance will feature TV specials and series programming airing nationally in the U.S. on NBC and NBCSN as well as streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.

The TV show was transformed by action sports industry guru, now current CEO, Michael Porra into a must-see live event in 2010, creating the global touring phenomenon that is Nitro Circus Live. Since its inaugural Australian trek six years ago, the show has travelled the globe, obliterating box office records and cultivating a legion of diehard fans. Nitro Circus has now rolled across five continents, blown away over two million fans and sold out shows in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, China, Japan, the Middle East and South Africa. After close to 100 shows globally in 2015 and with a packed 2016 touring schedule ahead, Nitro Circus is the world’s most successful action sports touring brand.

About the Utah Sports Commission:

The Utah Sports Commission is a not-for-profit, 501c3 charitable organization created to foster national and international amateur sports competitions to be held in the state of Utah, which will enhance the quality of life of all Utah citizens and strengthen Utah's presence in the worldwide sports community.

Contact:

For Nitro Circus:
Greg Terlizzi: greg@nitrocircus.com

For the Utah Sports Commission:

Jeff Robbins: (801) 328-2335 / jlrobbins@utah.gov