Austin athletes ready to compete in XGames Austin

AUSTIN -- A look out across Circuit of the Americas from its 251-foot tower reveals the transformation of the F-1 track into a playground for XGames Austin.

Crews are still building Big Air, the ramp where you'll see 27-year-old Chase Hawk compete. Raised in Austin, Chase is bringing it home for his 8th XGames competition.

"I grew up racing and riding 9th Street," said Hawk.

He got his first BMX bike on his 7th birthday. "At first I was doing circles in my driveway until my dad had to take me off the bike because I wouldn't stop doing it," said Hawk.

He says interest in BMX biking and skateboarding is rapidly growing here and in surrounding cities because of new public skate parks.

The impact of XGames on Austin is two-fold. One -- the physical -- the crowd and what they'll see here. Two -- the more than 20 hours of live broadcasts around the world.

Tim Reed is ESPN's Senior Director of Events and Content. He says on TV they'll see a lot of the sport, but onsite people will get the full experience. There are playgrounds and villages set up for families to enjoy. Then you have the nearly 40 live music performances, including Kanye West.

Stadium Super Trucks will make their XGames debut, catching air here. Another Austin based competitor, Jay Reichert, is a driver.

"We are going to have 16 of them in the main event, and it's going to be full flown vehicle combat."

Construction crews will work until the games begin, mindful to build around and not damage COTA's track, plus safety barriers still need to be installed.


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