The Moto X Best Trick and Snowmobile Best Trick events at X Games are being discontinued, ESPN announced Tuesday.
The decision to discontinue the Best Trick events follows, but is not directly tied to, an investigation into the death of Snowmobile Best Trick competitor Caleb Moore in January, according to an ESPN spokesman.
Moore died of head and heart injuries sustained during the Snowmobile Freestyle competition at X Games Aspen 2013, where he under-rotated a backflip attempt and crumpled under the weight of his tumbling snowmobile. A Freestyle Snowmobile demonstration previously scheduled for next week at X Games Tignes in France had previously been canceled a month before Tuesday’s announcement.
“Moto X Best Trick and Snowmobile Best Trick were not dropped in response to what happened in Aspen,” an ESPN spokesman said. “This decision was under consideration before Aspen, and, in fact, our review of Snowmobile Freestyle continues.”
ESPN released a statement saying, “This change reflects our decision to focus on motor sports disciplines which feature athletes who also compete in multiple, world-class competitions [e.g., professional events and tours] reflecting the highest degree of athlete participation, competitive development and the global nature of our X Games franchise. Over the past 18 years we have made more than 60 changes to our competition lineups at X Games events to capture the evolution of the sport and these continue that growth.”