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Event Coverage [Event Archive]

OGIO Freestyle Motocross Gladiator Games
in the Globen Arena Stockholm
Story by and pics by Mattias Klockar

OGIO Freestyle Motocross Gladiator Games in the Globen Arena.
Czech FMX Show in One of the Most Celebrated Arenas on Earth
On Saturday 17th May, FMX Gladiator Games showed for the first time for the Stockholm public in the celebrated Globen Arena.

The Ogio Freestyle Motocross Gladiator Games Stockholm 2008 were the first stop for this unique show. Even though Sweden was playing Finland for third place in hockey's World Cup, more than 5000 spectators found their way into the Arena and didn't regret it. Children made up a large part of the audience, for whom it was an unforgettable experience, something documented by their interest in autographs after the event.

The conclusion featured 10 riders on motorbikes and Justin Hoyer on a snowmobile. The unlucky one was Petr „Kuchta“ Kuchař, who hurt his ankle right out of the box on Friday. During Saturday's training, the swelling got worse and it was clear he wasn't going to be able to ride. He watched the evening program from the stands. The script for the Gladiator Games was identical to what went down last November in the O2 Arena in Vysočany.

The show kicked off with a riding performance featuring Petr Pilát in Kuchta's role of "fire aviator", jumping fearlessly through flames and explosions. Then came the head-to-head battle for the title of King of the Contest.

In the first round, five pairs were presented. The audience decided the contest with its applause. The very first rides made it clear that this would be worth watching. One by one practically every variation on the backflip appeared, along with all the classic tricks in an impressive performance. The division into pairs was as follows (victor given in bold): Frederik "Frog" Bergren (SWE) and Jeff Fehr (CAN), Reagan Sieg (USA) and Martin Koreň (CZE), Jeremy Lusk and Sean Nielson (both USA), Petr Pilát (CZE) and Chuck Carothers (USA), Morgan Carlson (SWE) and Wiley Fullmer (USA). Chuck Carothers was the sixth to make it in the fight for the Wildcard. But of course he wasn't up to lasting out the next round with the traditionally wiry and uncompromising Wiley Fullmer.

In the first ride, homeboy Frog righteously eliminated Reagan Sieg. The most interesting, tightest contest took place in the second quarterfinal, which brought together Pilník and Lusk. Lusk pulled off a monstrous underflip in the last jump and the audience sent him on to the semifinal. Petr Pilát became the fourth semi-finalist for the Wildcard. The semi-final pairings were Bergren with Lusk a Pilník with Fulmer. Lusk finished off homeboy Frog without much trouble and Pilník opened up the throttle and managed to jump past Wiley Fullmer.
In the end, the audience gave a clear thumbs up to Pilník but Jeremy Lusk, remaining true to the tough, uncontrollable reputation of the Metal Mulish riders, screamed into the applause meter himself and won. On the other hand, though, we should be sporting and recognize that Lusk’s ride was the best and hardest. He has an unbelievable superflip, underflip, no-hands backflip, a superman seat grab backflip and a host of other tricks. Victory in our show truly isn't the most important thing. What matters much more is that Pilník has made incredible progress since his appearance at the RedBull X-fighters in Mexico just a few short weeks ago. He also proved that he's a favorite not just of audiences in the Czech Republic. If he can keep up the tempo, it's really just a question of time before he becomes a permanent member of the TOP world leaders.

Then followed an exhibition by Justin Hoyer on snowmobile, featuring a triple backflip by Hoyer, Lusk and Pilát. Next up was an incredible train, and the riders rushed off to sign autographs, for which the packed line stretched more than a hundred meters.

Marek Rejman of organizers GSMA says: "The Globen Arena is an amazing hall and it was a great challenge for us to repeat here what we do in Prague in the same style. I think the audience was enthusiastic and especially the children, who didn't hesitate at all to stand in line for more than an hour to get the riders' autographs. But we know there are many things we have to improve and adapt better to the Swedish audience.

It was a new experience even for us to organize an event in a completely unknown environment without contacts. We'll be back in the Globen Arena next year. Once again, we hope, in grand style."
This year's Freestyle Motocross Gladiator Games 2008 kicked off the 17th of May at the Globen Arena in Stockholm, and will continue in Bratislava before returning once again on the 8th of November to Sweden, in Linköping. November 22nd, the show goes to the ČEZ Arena in Ostrava, with the traditional high point coming November 29th in Prague.

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