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Is Inline Skating on the Way Out at the X Games?

ESPN Will Reportedly Expunge Last Trace of Inline From This Summer's Event

By Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

In the early years of the X Games, inline skaters were all over the place.

In fact, there were more inline skate events in the early X Games than there were skateboard or bicycle events.

Inline hit its peak at X Games IV in 1998. At those "games," there were four inline events: vert, vert triples, street and downhill.

Downhill, one of the original X Game events, attracted many of the best U.S. inline speed skaters, who slalomed down steep hills in pursuit of cash prizes that dwarfed those offered by the World Inline Cup.

Glass and Parra ... X Gamers?

Among the downhill skaters were Julie Glass, who won the women's race in 1998, and future Olympic gold medalist Derek Parra, who finished second behind Dante Muse in 1996.

But after a few years, ESPN apparently started to tire of inline skating.

In 1999, it halved the number of inline events, leaving only vert and street (which are both aggressive stunt events).

And last year, 2004, it again halved the number, leaving only one inline event: vert.

And to further shrink the inline presence, it combined the men's and women's events into one. (Only one woman, Fabiola de Silva, competed; she finished sixth of 11.)

So What About 2005?

Since last summer, rumors have been flying that ESPN would expunge the last trace of inline from the X Games this year.

And apparently, those rumors are true.


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