Brandon Loupos Looks to Double Up
By Justin W. Sanders
Competing in any event at the upcoming Nitro World Games in Salt Lake City requires tremendous skill, dedication, and courage. That's why it’s crazy that pro BMX maestro Brandon Loupos will be one of only a handful of athletes vying for a podium spot in not one but two of them: BMX Best Tricks and BMX Triple Hit.
A finalist in BMX Triple Hit at last year’s NWG after qualifying for the first time in his career, Loupos says, “Nerves got the best of me, but this year I’m prepared, I’m ready, and I can’t wait to be back in Salt Lake to do my best.” The Sydney-born rider showed he’s on a whole new level at the qualifier for BMX Best Tricks in Lake Perris, California, where he landed a backflip triple tailwhip on his first run, followed by a cashroll tailwhip on Run 2. With the "best two our of four runs" format, he knew that big scores on his first two runs meant he could go big to finish out. He attempted a triple frontflip on his final run. He missed, but he put the rest of the field on notice. Will we see a BMX triple frontflip landed at this year's Best Tricks event?
Growing up in Australia, Loupos says, he dreamed of following his older cousin Justin into motocross, but couldn't quite get there. “My dad couldn't afford to buy me a motorbike, so he bought me a BMX for my 10th birthday and said whatever I want to do on a motorbike, do it on this," he says. "That day I rode a skatepark for the first time and fell in love with BMX.” His first competition came at the age of 12, at his local park against fellow future Nitro stars Andy Buckworth and Jaie Toohey. Even then, his drive to succeed was already blazing hot. “I think I came fifth, and I cried because I didn't ride so good,” he says, laughing. “All I did was no-footers and X-ups.”
Loupos is doing a lot more than no-footers and X-ups now, and he's stoked to show off his potent arsenal in Utah. “NWG is gnarly because it's all about the tricks, where other events are about an overall run,” he says. “It’s a give-it-your-all event, which makes the athletes adapt to going big. If you win it, you definitely deserve it, because you gave it your all and left everything on the table. That's how champions are made.”
Tickets are on sale now for the 2017 Nitro World Games, which will be held on June 24 in Salt Lake City and broadcast live on NBC.