The Extreme Sports Olympics come to Barcelona

The Catalan capital is ready to celebrate the first X-Games on European soil. The event, which is being held from May 16th to the 19th, is expected to host 120,000 spectators that will generate an income of 40 million euros for the city of Barcelona. Among international stars like stunt performer Travis Pastrana, the BMX rider Kevin Robinson or the skater Paul Rodríguez, toplevel Catalan stars like rally competitor Nani Roma or the Moto X riders Laia Sanz and Edgar Torronteres will also be present.

Andrea Cabrera / Àlex Ramis

May 16, 2013 04:33 PM

Barcelona (CNA).– Extreme sports take over Barcelona this week as from May 16th to the 19th the Montjuïc Olympic Ring will host the X-Games. The festival is divided into four sport categories: Moto X, BMX, Skateboard and Rally. Visitors from all over the world mean that this event will have a decisive repercussion on the city of Barcelona. Economically, the city is expected to collect 40 million euros. But according to the Technical Advisor of the Sports Department of the City of Barcelona, Martí Niubó, the most important impact of the X-Games is its effect on the international projection of Barcelona.

Extreme sports are the most important element of the X-Games and the reason why people come from all over the world to see this event. Throughout four days, the Olympic Ring at Montjuïc hill will be the stage for four extreme sports competitions: Moto X, BMX, Skateboard and Rally. And, as in every tournament, some professionals stand out in each category of the competition.

The main names

In Moto X, the festival includes the names of Japanese rider Taka Higashino, who won the gold medal in the freestyle subcategory at the 2012 X-Games and American Nate Adams, who has won three gold medals so far in the speed and style subcategory. Also from United States, Kevin Robinson is one of the huge favorites in the BMX Big Air subcategory thanks to his four gold medals.

American Paul Rodriguez is also one of the favourites in the Skate Street subcategory, thanks to the gold medal he won at the X-Games last year. In the Rally category, Travis Pastrana remains the big favourite after winning the last two gold medals in the RallyCross subcategory.

Catalan racers

The fact that four Americans are the biggest favourites in the four categories indicates the importance of extreme sports in the United States. Anyway, Catalonia is also represented at the X-Games. In the Rally category, Nani Roma competes for the first time, and Laia Sanz and Edgar Torronteras will break into the Moto X competition. The games offer great chance for all of them to get a global projection.

Concerts at the Poble Espanyol

The venue also holds the X-Fest, where promotional and leisure activities will take place, as well as music performances, while the X-Market features brands related to the world of action sports. On the 18th the X-Games Music Festival will be held at the Poble Espanyol, where the rappers 50Cent and Nach will give an exclusive concert.

€40 million for the local economy

As for the economic impact of the X-Games, the city is expected to make 40 million euros. Thus, the two million euros that the City has invested in organizational expenses and in implementing the necessary services for the competition will return to the city coffers by far. The number of visitors is expected to be 120,000 spectators, 25% of which foreigners.

However, the really important impact is related to the sport itself. As the Technical Advisor of the Sports Department of Barcelona City Council, Martí Niubó, explains, celebrating an event of this magnitude allows the city to “open up the world of urban sports, a world in which Barcelona has not had the chance to participate until now”.