--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---
June 16, 2001
The search for Jamie Bestwick continues
By Mike Nguyen
Well, Day 2 was pretty uneventful.
My day started off with a beautiful ride on the Hood blimp, flying over Hartford and other towns and circling the X Trials site.
I'll save my blimp experience for another story, but let's get going on to the actual event.
The crowds today were just plain huge.
The audience bleachers were filled and crowds were everywhere on the fence just waiting for autographs.
It is always comforting, you know, to go to an event that is crowded and successful, than to cover some flop.
Speaking of which ....
Within two seconds of walking into the entrance, I was approached by friends, strangers, and even my own brother for crying out loud, to give them my credential. God, was the view THAT bad from out there?
Sure, you're dying under a blaring sun and you don't get free food and drinks, but you get to see the big screen. Doesn't that count for anything?
Those selfish ingrates probably wouldn't have given them back anyway. Besides, it makes me feel special, and it's still stuck to my wrist as I'm writing this story.
Search for Jamie Bestwick (Day 2)
Well, my search for him still isn't over, folks.
He should no doubt be cheering his comrades today, as bicycle stunt vert is today.
Too bad every single picture of him isn't good enough to tell me what the guy actually looks like.
But I do know two things, he's English and he has a cast on his arm somewhere.
And sure enough, on top of the vert, there's a guy with ice on his shoulder and a cast on his arm.
It must be Bestwick.
He's kinda quiet and really sweaty, but I'm sure it's him.
It was a guy who just got off the competition, a rookie, who ate the vert pretty bad, as Bestwick had done.
Gosh, that was pretty disappointing. But wait, maybe all hope isn't lost!
Surprise Success 2
While I'm moping on top of the vert, I turn my head to find ... could it be? ... Bruce Crisman!
The other guy I subconsciously spent the day in search of.
He was also part of my Xtra page profiling 3 athletes.
And wait, even better, I had a copy of the page to give to him.
Ahh ... success.
So, I took the page out of my bag, and approached him (actually, I just turned around), and introduced myself.
He was conversing in Spanish with a guy (darn, I take French), but when he saw me with the page, I swear to God he was ecstatic.
Of course, I couldn't understand a word he was saying as he was showing the page to his friend.
He was about to sign it and give it back to me, but I told him it was for him.
And off he went, after I asked him a few more questions for a story, and he went off showing off his page again.
Well, that made one writer feel warm and fuzzy inside.
But the warmth could've been attributed to the tropical heat.
Oh yeah, back to Bestwick.
With renewed vigor to search, I walked out into the Xperience area real quick just to hang with the common spectators.
My superiority complex wasn't quite complete yet.
Anyways, I saw this line of people with pens in hand and posters, hats, shirts, and other stuff in hand.
Must be an autograph signing session, and I really didn't get many signatures on the Tattoo t-shirt yet anyway. Might as well get 4 or 5 guys with one stone.
I'm wondering who's autograph I'd be getting, so I take a look at the sign.
Surprise Success 3
One of the names was "James Bestwick!"
Flop 3, 4, and 5.
I didn't know which one was him.
The line was excruciatingly long.
And, I had to cover the bike vert finals.
Geesh, why is life so cruel at Lake Compounce: WHY?!
Well, I can't say I wasn't disappointed once again, but at least I know Jamie Bestwick is here (whatever he looks like, darn those bad pictures from EXPN).
It's not like he'll be going anywhere, I hope, so I hopped on over to watch the vert finals.
Well, that ended and it's time for the Awards ceremony.
Guess who just happens to win the Year End title belt? Jamie Bestwick.
That turned out great, now it's just a matter of getting to him.
One tip I learned while talking to celebrities from the X Trials: Get them while they're signing autographs.
And right after Jamie was done with his awards schpeil and ESPN talk, he was signing autographs, with one hand no doubt.
I finally got a fairly quick but decent interview with him, and once again someone else remembered me.
I only wish I had a page for him, too.
Well, last person is Lindenmuth, but I never did get to find him.
Maybe I'll bump into him tomorrow.
Folks, we're barely half way through my day here.
So, news had reached me that Matt Hoffman and Tony Hawk were in the X Trials site somewhere.
I spotted Hoffman, the BMX pioneer and legend (he runs the BMX association of the X Games) at the awards ceremony, but he disappeared afterwards.
It would've been nice to have his signature on that Tattoo shirt.
Well, anyway, Tony Hawk was probably too out of my league at that moment to spend my next few hours searching for him.
He was probably still at the ESPN complex for all I knew.
Besides, once again, another finals competition was starting.
On the credential side of the Park arena is a tower, where the commentators commentate and the judges are. They're on the second floor.
On the top floor, you can see down the whole park, a mighty fine view of the game, in my opinion. So, I decided why not go up there and watch from there. It was shaded, after all.
The tower had FOOD!
This may not seem like much of a success, but when you're in upper 80 degree weather with 80% humidity, and nothing but Mountain Dew and water to live on for 8 hours, food is a success.
It was like finding treasure.
It really wasn't much, except bags full of Lay's baked potato chips, and fruits galore.
The Trials never felt any better.
Surprise Success 7
Guess who was also viewing the competition from atop the tower? Skateboard star Andy Mcdonald (also with his own video game).
He was busy enjoying the competition, but I got a chance to talk to him and add him to my autograph list after the competition.
The day's almost done folks, hang in there, the best is yet to come.
Surprise Success 8
So I'm aimlessly just wandering around the park after that competition, and who else should I spot than ... a little boy skateboarding.
Not just any boy, Tony's boy! And not just any Tony, but Tony Hawk.
That's right, Hawk and his son, Riley, were walking towards the bike halfpipe to spend some time together.
I couldn't help but to stare at what they have to deal with -- spending time with each other with scores of people yelling "Tony Hawk" and asking for autographs.
He seemed nonplussed, so I just added to the problem, asking him two questions, which he answered.
So, now I can say I got an exclusive interview with Tony Hawk.