Photo Courtesy of Bryce Kanights
Of the athletes in attendance at the 2015 X Games, Austin, was legendary skateboarder Bob Burnquist. Burnquist is the only athlete to have competed in every single X Games event, dating back to the inaugural event during the summer of 1995 in Newport, Rhode Island.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Burnquist started skating competitively at the age of 16 and quickly found that he had talent in the sport. He won his first X Games medal at the age of 20 while competing in the 1997 X Games, San Diego.
The medal he won in 1997 is just one of the 30 he know boasts, an X Games record.
“It’s been a crazy ride and I’ve enjoyed every second of it,” said Burnquist.
Burnquist has always been defined by his tenacious work ethic and innovative approach to skating. The Brazilian was the first person to ever land a fakie 900 making him one of just five different people to land a 900.
In 2001, Burnquist earned one of the highest scores in X Games history after posting a near-perfect score of 98.00 in the vert competition. He landed three previously unperformed tricks during the run and, to this day, the set is considered by many to be the greatest vert performance of all-time.
Now at the age of 38, Burnquist is in a unique position that has allowed him to watch the progression of the sport since its genesis.
“I remember when I was just a kid doing this,” reflected Burnquist. “Now you’ve got young guys like Nyjah (Huston), Tommy (Tom Schaar) and (Ryan) Sheckler absolutely shredding it. All those guys, man. I’m really lucky to get to watch it.”
“All those guys will be better than me,” said Burnquist. “They already are,” he finished with a laugh.
Always the competitor, Burnquist proved at the 2015 X Games that he is just as dominate as he’s ever been.
Despite his age, the legendary Brazilian took home three medals, two golds and one silver, all while nursing a fractured forearm that he sustained the Wednesday before the competitions began.
“During the practice runs I just landed bad,” said Burnquist. “Honestly, I knew right away that something was wrong, but I didn’t doubt for one second that I’d be out here competing. I live for this.”
Burnquist took gold in the America’s Navy Skateboard Big Air after securing a score of 93.33. He received his second gold medal on the final day of competition in a new event called Skateboard/BMX Big Air Doubles. Burnquist teamed up with BMX biker and Tyler, Texas native, Morgan Wade. The duo dominated the newly minted event, pulling in a score of 90.00 to take the gold. His lone silver medal came in the Skateboard Vert Best Trick competition where he came second to Elliot Sloan.
Burnquist is the vision of perseverance on the course and is highly respected by both fans and competitors alike. He’s shown no signs of slowing and will likely continue to deliver amazing moments for a few more years before hanging up the board.