Winter X Games 16: Event Right to Search for International Sites

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIJanuary 27, 2012

ASPEN, CO - JANUARY 30:  Spectators pack together next to the course as competitors criss cross the course during an elimination round in the Snowmobile SnoCross during Winter X Games 15 at Buttermilk Mountain on January 30, 2011 in Aspen, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The X Games aren't far from taking a decidedly foreign look, which is a good thing for all parties involved. 

You don't need to watch the X Games for long to see that athletes from all over the world are participating. Still, neither the Winter or Summer versions of the X Games have ever left American soil. That is something that needs to change. 

Athletes from all around the world deserve to at least have the possibility of performing on their sport's greatest stage in front of their home fans. Those fans deserve the chance to see their national heroes, as well as the other top performers from around the globe. 

While the X Games and extreme sports may have their origins in the United States, they have certainly grown to become international. 

So, the report from XGames.com saying that international cities are putting in bids for future events is a promising thing to read. The cities bidding are as follows. 

Santiago, Chile Summer
Munich, Germany Summer
Sao Paulo, Brazil Summer
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Summer
Foz do Iguacu, Brazil Summer
Barcelona, Spain Summer
Lisbon, Portugal Summer
Quintana Roo, Mexico Summer
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada     Winter

 

Even within the United States, the X Games has been too comfortable with where they hold the events. Each of the last nine summer events have been held in Los Angeles. That followed a two-year run in Philadelphia, which followed two-year runs in San Diego and San Francisco. So, since 1997, all but two of the Summer Games have been held in California. 

The Winter X Games have a similar track record. The 2012 games are the 11th in a row to be held in Aspen. 

Unless the participants are all local, you have to move the event around the country. The same logic goes for international events. If you invite people from all around the world to participate, then you have to move it to different countries. 

That isn't to say that the United States can never host the X Games again, or even that they shouldn't host the majority of them. But a worldwide event needs to be just that, worldwide. There is no excuse for anything less

The games are known well enough that X Games and ESPN can rely on a lot of attention in another country. They need to take advantage of that, and it's promising idea that they're finally going to.