Kurtis Downs and Gavin Godfrey to Compete For a Spot in BMX Best Tricks Final Along with 2016 2nd and 3rd Place Finishers in FMX, BMX Triple Hit and Skate Best Trick

(LOS ANGELES – February 28, 2017) As preparations for the 2017 Nitro World Games get underway, a second wave of athletes has been added to the ground breaking action sports competition, airing in primetime on NBC from Salt Lake City’s Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, June 24.


The 2016 second and third place finishers in FMX, BMX Best Tricks, BMX Triple Hit and Skate Best Trick are invited to the Nitro World Games semifinals (taking place on Friday, June 23, also at Rice-Eccles Stadium). This shortlist of world-class athletes includes two Utah-based BMX riders: Kurtis Downs (Draper) and Gavin Godfrey (Salt Lake City). Earning a place on the podium last year now gives them the opportunity to skip qualifying and advance directly to the semifinals, just one step away from the epic final round. Only the top eight athletes in each discipline will then advance to the June 24 Nitro World Games, ensuring that it will feature the very best of the best. Created by Nitro Circus Executive Chairman and Global Head of Creative Mike Porra with action sports icon Travis Pastrana, Nitro World Games is the ultimate competition in action sports, featuring breakthrough ramp technology, new judging criteria and innovative scoring formats.


Mike Porra said, “I think it’s really important to give the top three place getters from last year an opportunity to defend or even improve on their podium result from the inaugural games. The riders now understand my revolutionary formats, so the level of performance should see an exciting jump forward this year.”


Travis Pastrana said, “In the ever-growing talent pool of action sports, we want to reward those who went the biggest in last year’s event. A direct invite to the semifinals gives the podium finishers from last year a little more time to dial in new world’s first tricks. This also allows them to save their newest and most spectacular stuff for the big show in Salt Lake! Last year was amazing but it was only the beginning!”


“The accomplished athletes announced today will ensure that fans will see the best of action sports,” said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission.  “The live primetime broadcast will allow millions to get a front row seat to this progressive event and showcase the state of Utah.”


Downs and Godfrey faced tremendous competition in BMX Best Tricks last year. This event alone more than delivered on the explosion of big air progression that Nitro World Games promised as world firsts went down left and right. But, after advancing first through open qualifying then the semi-finals, Downs and Godfrey were primed to send it for the Rice-Eccles Stadium crowd. In the final round, Downs stomped a world’s first of his own: an incredible quad whip backflip. Downs and Godfrey took home the trophies for 2nd and 3rd place respectively, earning their place among the best BMX riders in the world.


The following athletes are now invited to the 2017 Nitro World Games semifinals:


Taka Higashino (JPN)   Kurtis Downs (USA)
Josh Sheehan (AUS)   Gavin Godfrey (USA)
Clay Kreiner (USA)   Alex Coleborn (GBR)
Trey Wood (USA)   Logan Martin (AUS)


To see highlights from these athletes’ game-changing achievements in 2016, go here.


As Nitro World Games continues to push progression, it will once again feature open qualifying, making it the most inclusive competition in action sports. More athletes from around the world will be added soon with further announcements to follow.


Nitro World Games shifted the landscape for both athletes and the industry alike in its 2016 debut. Over 25,000 people saw it all go down in Rice-Eccles Stadium, while viewer numbers for NBC’s live primetime broadcast surpassed all expectations and Nitro Circus’ global livestream reached a hungry audience worldwide.


For fans looking to witness action sports history in person, there are a variety of Nitro World Games ticket options to choose from. Tickets start at $19 each while Nitro Club VIP tickets – the best seats in the house plus a special VIP experience – are $79 each (all ticket prices plus applicable service fees).


Nitro World Games 2017 continues Nitro Circus’ multi-year partnership with NBC Sports Ventures, combining NBC’s broadcasting excellence with Nitro Circus’ authority as an action sports leader. NBC Sports will present three hours of Nitro World Games coverage airing in primetime on NBC in the United States. Details on how fans outside of the U.S. and Canada can watch Nitro World Games will be announced soon.


Nitro World Games 2017 sponsors include Be The Match, Valvoline, Oberto and Vivid Seats.


For more information about the #NitroWorldGames please go to nitroworldgames.com. Fans can also follow Nitro Circus on Twitter and Instagram: @nitrocircus and on Facebook:www.facebook.com/NitroCircus.


About Nitro Circus:

Nitro Circus continues to position itself as the world’s leading youth action sports & entertainment brand. From humble beginnings in 2003 – with Jeremy Rawle, Gregg Godfrey and soon to be action sports superstar Travis Pastrana producing DVDs from a Utah garage — to a smash TV series which has aired in over 60 countries, Nitro Circus has exploded to global popularity. In 2012, Nitro Circus: The Movie, featuring cast members from the hit television series, was released in cinemas worldwide. In 2015, Nitro Circus announced a partnership with NBC Sports Ventures.  The multi-year strategic alliance features TV specials and live events, such as Nitro World Games, and series programming airing nationally in the U.S. on NBC and NBCSN as well as streamed on the NBC Sports App.


The TV show was transformed by action sports industry guru Michael Porra into a must-see live event in 2010 creating the Nitro Circus Live global touring phenomenon. Since its inaugural Australian trek six years ago, the show has travelled the globe, obliterating box office records and cultivating a legion of diehard fans. Nitro Circus has now rolled across five continents, blown away over three million fans and sold out shows in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, China, Japan, the Middle East and South Africa. After over 70 shows globally in 2016 and with more shows coming up worldwide in 2017, Nitro Circus is undoubtedly the world’s most successful action sports touring brand. For more information visit www.nitrocircus.com.


About the Utah Sports Commission:

The Utah Sports Commission is a not-for-profit, 501c3 charitable organization created to foster national and international amateur sports competitions to be held in the state of Utah, which will enhance the quality of life of all Utah citizens and strengthen Utah’s presence in the worldwide sports community.

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