X Games vs. Olympic Games: What are the Top Xtreme Sports that you must Try

While there aren’t any sports that start with X, there is an extreme sports event where both popular summer and winter activities are held in parts of US. It is broadcasted on the television twice a year – developed by the popular sport network, ESPN Inc.

X Games began its first season in 1995, targeting the Generation X with some of the extreme sports featured on the show. This is also one of the reasons it is named ‘X games’ – X being for Extreme sports.

With physical attendance and viewership through television, it has gained a massive fan audience around the globe.

It is live streamed and presented on different networks that come under the ESPN Inc. with an official website dedicated just for the games – news and updates that can be accessed by anywhere around the world. The X games events are sponsored by some of the renowned top brands and companies.

There are a series of active summer, winter and real sports events. The events are majorly held in different states in the United States. Read below to find out more about them!


Held in the warm months of the year, summer X games consists of some top action sports held mainly in California, US. It takes place in streets and parks; typical sports that are featured in the Summer X Games include:


In this action sport, skaters ride up and down the half pipe – or a mini ramp, performing tricks jumps on top of the platform. Street and vertical skateboarding are types of skateboarding competitions featured in it.


This bike sport takes place on a street course and a half-pipe. It incorporates riding and performing some difficult movements, such as double-front flips by athletes.


This off-road motorcycle racing takes place on a dirt obstacle trail with sharp jumps.


Held on snowy regions such as mountains, these cold sports are some of the most exhilarating activities that are typically held in Aspen, US. Common Winter X games include:


Ski cross games are held with 4 players who ride down a slope at a time – making it a team sport, unlike the usual solo sport competitions held for it.


Same goes for snowboarding competitions – boardercross racing involves multiple snowboarders racing down the slope on the rough terrains consisting of steep jumps and turns.

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This involves Snocross competitions– where contestants race down on the snowmobiles, on a trail filled with hurdles and sharp turns.

X games features top athletes from around the world who take part in world championships and Olympics – with a huge number of fans who watch the sports!

Some notable X Games athletes include:

  • Sarah Burke, a 3-time X Games gold medalist, who is regarded as one of the top freestyle skiers in the world.
  • Shaun White is an X Games athlete who excels in both snowboarding and skateboarding.

Rayn Sheckler, aged 13 became the youngest athlete to bag a gold medal in the X games in the skateboarding event.


X games are held every year with 2 seasons, broadcasted on the ESPN’s family of channels. While Olympic games are held every 4 years – with the summer and winter Olympic games held in separate seasons.

The upcoming 2024 Olympics will feature 40 summer and winter sports while the X games vary in games but typically include 4 sports with different competitions held for it. There are common top athletes who take part in both X Games and Olympics.


While X Games are popular in the US and other countries with extraordinary athletes from different parts of the world who compete in winter and summer activities, Olympics has a wider base – featuring a range of global sports and notable athletes from around the world. In my opinion, it is safe to say that Olympic games are more popular and larger in range, if seen at a global scale. However, X games are also a popular extreme sports event gaining more and more popularity every year! I am definitely a fan of both X games and Olympic games.

What do you think?

Written by Usama

Usama J. is a passionate writer about the sports and works as an in house sports journalist at Openiun, and covered many international sporting events including ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022.