I was very excited when I was accepted into the Elon in Los Angeles program. Even before I became a student at Elon, I distinctly remember taking my campus tour and seeing signs in the Communications building promoting the Elon in LA program. Now that I have actually been accepted into the program, I must say that it’s an awesome feeling being out here. The best part about this program is that it literally gives you all the perks so that you can actually say you live out here. You have your own car, your own place to live, and your own place of work.
What’s even better is that every now and then, J and Marianne will give out free tickets to events in LA to add to the experience out here. This weekend, they had a handful of tickets to the X Games to give out. Since I was one of the people who expressed interest in going to the X Games early on, I was able to acquire tickets for this past Saturday.
Fast forward a few days and there I was. Right in the smack-dab middle of the biggest and most popular extreme sports competition in the world. After going through security, there was a jungle of vendors set up with tents full of merchandise to hand out for free and also to sell. Vendors such as GoPro, Quicksilver, Sony, Time Warner Cable, Hurley, Volcom, and Nike were just some of the companies representing themselves at this festival. In other words, this place was NUTS! As we were walking along this street of tents, we came across a spot where we could watch the rally car drivers jump off a ramp as a part of their course. After about 30 seconds of standing there waiting for the cars, we hear the engines coming closer and closer. All of a sudden, we see the first car drift around the corner and ready itself for the jump. Then, this happens.
Needless to say, I was shocked. Its one thing to see something like that on TV, but after watching that crash happen only a few feet in front of me, I had a new found appreciation for extreme athletes. Thankfully, the driver, Thomas Heikkenen was able to walk away from the crash with just a broken ankle.
Later on, my friends and I took our seats in the nosebleed section inside the Staples Center and waited for the Moto X Speed and Style competition to start.
Before the competition, interviewers would ask the riders some questions about how they plan on beating their opponents and some would get asked the question, “Are you afraid of hurting yourself again because of last years accident.” Most of the athletes would just laugh and say something like, “Yeah, I’m afraid but what can you do.” Having the mindset like that is something that amazes me. Literally, these guys put their life on the line for the sake of competition. That is just crazy to think about, a normal human being would never jump off 40-foot jumps on 200-pound dirt bikes. But I guess that’s just another day in the life of an extreme athlete.