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ESPN comes home for the X Trials

BRISTOL, Connecticut, U.S.A. — Sun, skates, and a whole lot of teenagers are expected to attend the exciting and gravity-defying X Trials this summer, coming this year to Grand Prairie, Texas and ESPN’s home sweet home: Bristol, Conn.
And what better place to throw a Generation X event than Lake Compounce, the oldest running theme park in the nation?
This weekend extravaganza will take place June 15-17, just in time for Father’s Day and will feature a variety of sports, including “men’s and women’s park and vert aggressive inline skating; flatland, park and vert bicycle stunt and park and vert skateboarding,” according to the press release by ESPN.
If you have no clue what any of that means, it’s not for the faint-hearted. Just think lots people in the air with bikes, Roller Blades, and skateboards.
The X Trials started in 1997 as an afterthought following the successful debut of the X Games itself in Providence, R.I. and Orlando, Fla. This year’s 7th annual summer games will be held in Philadelphia starting Aug. 17. Just hope no one tries to ollie over that Liberty Bell.
But back to this year’s X Trials. There are two qualifying rounds for the X Games – the first will be held in Texas in a couple of weeks – and then the final Trials will be in Bristol.
The Trials will be taped (yes, that means anyone who is there might be on international television) and covered extensively by ESPN, Bristol’s shining sports network. The tapes will be shown over the summer a number of times on the network.
It’s about time it held an event in its hometown, don’t you think?
And since ESPN’s hosting this shindig, expect some just as big names in the extreme sports league.
Although not confirmed, skater star Colin McKay and BMX bike gods Dave Mirra and Ryan Nyquist are just some of the names expected to travel to Bristol for the Trials.
And yes, even Tony Hawk, the skateboard legend himself, is slated to grace Lake Compounce with his presence. Yes, he’s the one that made the top-selling video game, Tony Hawk Pro Skater.
Oh yeah, did we mention it’s free? That’s right, you won’t need to spend a dime on admission into Lake Compounce to see the event, but it wouldn’t hurt spending a few extra bucks to try the new Boulder Dash roller coaster while you’re there.
But, anyone can release his or her extremeness at the Xperience, “a free of charge interactive zone where spectators of all ages can ‘do what they view’,” according to the X Trials flyer.
What exactly are these spectators going to view? Sport climbing, skateboarding, and bungee jumping.
Again, not for the faint-hearted to watch.
Hey, things like this don’t come every day in Connecticut. The event is expected to bring tens of thousands of people into Bristol from around the region and extreme sports world, not counting the millions of TV viewers who will watch.
So if you can, grab your board, your bike, or your blades, and slide on down to Lake Compounce for an exciting weekend of wheels and gravity.
Can’t make it personally? No problem. The Tattoo, your favorite teen-filled newspaper, will be recapping the days’ events and getting you behind the scenes at the Trials with your favorite and not-so-favorite stars on the spot.
All of this will be available through our website at, so check us out on the Internet if you can’t make it to the real event.

Mike Nguyen is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.

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