Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Salt Lake City Hosts Inaugural Nitro World Games

Andrea Smardon

The first Nitro World Gamesare taking place in Salt Lake City at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

BMX competitor Colton Satterfield is preparing for a qualifying event. He's standing at the top of a ramp, all the way up in the stands of the stadium.

“There’s three jumps. I’m going to do a 360 backflip, no-hander, and then a 360 windshield wiper. Everyone’s going to be like what’s going on, and then a backslip bar spin tail flip on the last one,” Satterfield says. “So hopefully, we’ll be in there with that one, which if we can make it happen we’ll be good.”

Looking out across the stadium, there are freestyle motocross bikes flying through the air, and skateboards coming off steep ramps. This massive event started with a couple of guys making videos in their Salt Lake City garage. Satterfield, an X Games gold medalist, is also a local. 

“I mean, there’s just a huge action sports presence in Salt Lake City, and it’s kind of funny because a lot of it goes unnoticed, but it’s a very big thing,” he says. “To have something like Nitro World Games in Salt Lake is a big deal and I’m pretty psyched about it.”

The Nitro Circus has been touring around the world for several years, but this is the first time they are holding this kind of competition. Some of the stands at Rice Eccles-Stadium are blocked off for ramps, but organizers are hoping to have 35,000 people in the audience. And the 3-hour finals on Saturday will be broadcast on NBC. Jamie Porra is North American marketing manager for Nitro Circus.

“I think it’s going to bring action sports and a new format of action sports to a whole bunch of people that have never seen anything like it before, so for us it’s just huge excitement,” Porra says.

Guests at the Nitro World Games will also be the first to experience a new distributed sound system and high definition video board at the stadium.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.