- Lindsay Trombly
Music blasted over the the PA as BMX riders flew through the air while a crowd grew around the bowl at Rhodes Skate Park in downtown Boise on June 28. Athletes from all over the world—they were from as close to home as Boise and as far away as Australia and Japan—were there to compete at the Road to the X Games Qualifier for a chance at a spot in the X Games in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in July.
Jason Magill was there in the bleachers to cheer on his friend, Boise local BMX rider Dennis Pecchenino, in the qualifying competition. Magill used to ride his own BMX ride, but never got to a competitive level like his friend.
“It’s exciting if you did it when you were younger, you see how exciting it is. You watch it advance even further,” Magill said.
This is Pecchenio’s first year competing in this event and he described the experience as “an opportunity of a lifetime.”
“It takes a lot of focus and I’m always surrounded by the best people,” Pecchenio said. ”The way I ride is appreciated by the X Games.”
This is the third time Boise has hosted an X Games qualifying competition, which includes men's and women's skateboarding events, as well as BMX; and ESPN Event Coordinator Ryan McGuinness said working with the City of Boise has been a pleasure.
“It’s great how the community has embraced us. We feel like a part of the community,” McGuinness said.
Jenni Lym, Monster Energy drink representative from Salt Lake City, Utah, said she has enjoyed being in the city of trees, as well, and called the athletes here “much more personable,” compared to other events she has attended.
“I love Boise. People are really nice. This is a perfect skate park to host the event,” Lym said. ”People come from all over. From Utah, I know people who drive five to six hours just to come here.”
The qualifier continues on Saturday, June 29, at Rhodes Skate Park.