Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Adaptive Moto X at the LA X Games 2013

X Games LA 2013

Adaptive Action Sports, X Games Sport Organizers/Founders of Adaptive Moto X, partnered with the ESPN and EPCN Productions this year to bring the world’s top seven adaptive moto riders to compete for gold in LA at X Games 2013. 

Staples Center was filled to the brim.  In the pits leading up to the race, tension was thick and nerves tight as the riders prepared to race. During three practice rounds, it was hard to determine how the race would play out.   Off of his second place finish at the Extremity Games, newcomer Max Gomez was looking fast.  Event veterans Chris Ridgway, X Games gold medalist, and Todd Thompson both rode strong and were poised to give Mike Shultz, favored to win, a run for his money.  Unfortunately, Jim Wazny, a single above knee amputee and veteran to X Games Moto and Snocross, lost his front brake coming off the 65 foot ramp jump resulting in a crash that took him out of the main event.

The Adaptive Moto X was the first race of the evening. Six riders lined up to start: Chris Ridgway (single bk amputee), Mike Shultz (single ak amputee), Todd Thompson (single bk amputee), Max Gomez (single bk amputee), Steve Howe (single right arm amputee) and Dave Turner (single bk amputee).

Engines fired, lights and music came up and the announcer called “Are you ready,  Staples Center….!!?” The crowd erupted just as the gates dropped and the racers cut loose. Ridgway and Shultz broke the fastest but it was Ridgway who took the hole shot with Shultz and Thompson just on his wheel. 

Todd Thompson passing Ridgway
Ridgway led the race for the first four of a 12 lap race before being overtaken by Shultz in a dramatic pass. Thompson would also pass Ridgway for second place but not before Ridgway defended his line with fierce conviction. Shultz, Thompson and Ridgway led the race in that order and crossed the line the same way.  Max Gomez raced a strong race and finished fourth followed by Howe. Turner had a brake cable malfunction mid-race that kept him from the checkered flag.

Mike Shultz final lap/Photo courtesy RedBull Media
The race was a phenomenal success and a truly amazing show. We are looking forward to X Games Austin in 2014 for another year of amazing adaptive racing.

Images by Oscar Loreto and Daniel Gale. Words by Daniel Gale

Adaptive Action Sports is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to creating action sports camps, events and clinics for youth, young adults and Veterans living with permanent physical disabilities. Action Sports, AAS believes, encourage individuality and creativity while building independence and self-confidence.

Max Gomez awaits practice
Mike Shultz - course inspection

Left to Right Silver, Gold, Bronze - Todd Thompson, Mike Shultz and Chris Ridgway

For more information on AAS and X Games, visit and