BOISE- The “Road to X Games” qualifying event is back in Boise at Rhodes Skate Park.
More than 50 athletes will compete in BMX and skateboard hoping to get one of 16 invitations to the X Games in Minneapolis next month.
“It really is an opportunity to showcase Boise,” said Boise Police Deputy Chief Eugene Smith, incident commander for the X Games. “We just encourage people come downtown with an idea of having fun. It's going to be a great weekend.”
Showcasing Boise to people like Ivan Federico who comes to the games all the way from Italy.
“I'm pretty stoked to be here,” he said.
Ivan had never heard of Boise before competing in last year's X Games qualifier, but now he's a fan.
“The people are nice, it's quiet, the skate parks are pretty fun,” he said. “I love it.
That's something city officials, like Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway, love to hear.
“Anytime you can go to an event in your hometown in Boise and watch the absolute best athletes in their craft,” he said. “It's really an unusual and unique experience.”
New this year is a family fun zone on the parkour side of the skate park.
“We have our parks and recreation mobile recreation program that will be there,” Holloway said. “We also have just a number of different booths and events that will have different activities for kids.”
Other new things include live music between events, additional bleacher seats available and more vendors.
“We really did try to create a family festival within the event, so it's an opportunity for families to come down and enjoy some safe family-friendly events,” Holloway said.
Boise Fire, Ada County Paramedics, and Boise Police will all be at the X Games and in the surrounding area ready for all types of emergencies.
“First and foremost, you need to pay attention and be aware of your surroundings,” said Smith. “Secondly, if something is out of place and you see it and something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't. Tell somebody.”
The hope of another successful X Games is that it will continue to create opportunities.
“Maybe a major soccer event that we could do at the Simplot Youth Sports Complex or a major hockey event that we could do at Idaho Ice World,” Holloway said. “We've already demonstrated that we can put together those kinds of events.”