X Games Los Angeles 2012 is officially underway with the opening Press Conference.

Danny Chi, Directory of Public and Media Relations for ESPN’s X Games opened the press conference, and then introduced ESPN’s Vice President of X Games Events – Chris Stiepock. One of the items Chris talked about was ESPN’s global expansion plans for 2013 and beyond, which includes new events in Germany, Spain, and Brazil. Chris also explained about how X Games is expanding three new ‘brands’ – Film, Music, and Style. The goal is to build more ‘lifestyle’. (You’ll Danny Chi explaining more about this new branding in video below.)

Next, skate and X Games legend Tony Hawk was introduced as the emcee to talk with the assembled X Game athletes on hand for this opening press conference.

And who were the athletes on hand today?

Steve McCann – One of only three riders to have landed a triple tailwhip and only the second rider to land a no-handed 900 in Vert competition, McCann will attempt to add to his X Games medal haul as he medaled in Big Air and Vert the past two X Games.

Pierre-Luc Gagnon – The first skateboard athlete to complete a three-peat in X Games Vert, Gagnon also won the 2010 and 2011 Dew Tour Skateboard Vert overall titles.

Leticia Bufoni – Currently ranked as the top rider in the WCS Women’s World Street Skateboard series, Bufoni returns in hopes of upping her bronze medal from last year to gold.

Nate Adams – One medal shy of Pastrana as the most decorated Moto X athlete, Adams won double-gold in Moto X Freestyle and Speed & Style at X Games 17. (See video of Nate below.)

Tanner Foust – The most decorated X Games Rally athlete and defending RallyCross silver medalist, Foust returns to the chase for gold.  Having won both SuperRally and RallyCross year-end titles in the 2011 Global Rallycross Championship, Foust recently became the first American to win a European Rallycross Championship round.

Ryan Sheckler – Three-time X Games gold medalist and the youngest gold medalist in X Games history, Sheckler looks to reclaim the top of the podium after last year’s bronze medal finish.

Nyjah Huston – The defending Men’s Skateboard Street gold and three-time medalist, Huston is the two-time overall Street League Champion and winner of three TransWorld awards.

Tom Schaar – At just 12 years old, Schaar became the first athlete to land a 1080 on the MegaRamp. Schaar won his first X Games gold medal at KIA X Games Asia in April.

Tarah Gieger – With three silver and a gold medal, Tarah is the most decorated woman in XG Moto X competition.  Coming off a double-silver medal performance last year in Women’s Moto X Racing and Enduro X, Geiger has her sights on double gold. (Video coming of Tarah.)

Daniel Dhers – A four-time X Games gold medalist and four-time Dew Tour Park overall champ, Dhers is going for the three-peat in BMX Freestyle Park.

Brian Deegan – Already a Freestyle Moto X legend, last season was a banner year for Deegan as he returned to X Games and won his first gold in Rally – beating a stacked field in the inaugural RallyCross competition.

Here is a link to the 2012 X Games 18 Los Angeles Schedule

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Danny Chi of ESPN / X Games talks about the vision of 2013 and beyond

Nate Adams talks to Amanda about X Games 18 Los Angeles

Tarah Gieger talks about going for double Gold at X Games 18 Los Angeles

X Games Los Angeles 2012 - Opening Press Conference - Photo 14 of 14

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