ESPN has selected Malaysia to host the next three Asian X Games Qualifiers and Disney Channel/ESPN Junior X Games presented by TOYOTA, the first and definitive multi-event competitions for extreme sports in Asia. Since 1998 these events have been held on Phuket Island, Thailand. The announcement was made by Mark Reilly, Vice President of ESPN International and the Honourable Datuk Ong Tee Keat, Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, Malaysia, representing the Honourable Dato’ Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Minister of Youth and Sports, Malaysia.
The Qualifier showcases 250 of Asia-Pacific’s best action sport athletes and serves as a qualifier to the US Summer X Games, the pinnacle of global action sports competition. Athletes compete in aggressive in-line skating, bicycle stunt, skateboarding, sport climbing and wakeboarding. The Junior event, inaugurated in 1999, brings together 130 children aged 14 years and under in the spirit of fun competition modelled after the senior Games.
Following X Games tradition, the Asia event will move to a new location every few years, bringing the X franchise to new markets around the region.
‘ESPN is excited that the Asian X Games will be hosted by Malaysia,’ said Reilly. The Asian X Games is a premiere event and the superb facilities to be found in Malaysia will contribute to the continued growth of this event. Congratulations to Malaysia for the work they have done to secure these Games – games in which we all win.’
Said Dato’ Hishammuddin: ‘After the accomplishment of Thailand, Malaysia takes on the difficult task of bringing the Asian X Games Qualifier and Junior X Games to greater heights. Just like the athletes who keep pushing their limits, we will explore new ground and push our own limits to make the Games an extraordinary event in 2002, 2003 and 2004.’
ESPN will televise the Asian event to more than 140 million homes around the globe. In addition, EXPN.com, the extreme-sports and culture website and ESPN.com will offer extensive coverage of the Games.
In 2001 ESPN will launch X Games Qualifiers and Junior X Games in Europe, Australia, South America and Japan. A global challenge is also planned, pitting athletes from each of the continental Qualifiers against one another. The Asian X Games was the first qualifier and remains the template for the future.
Reilly paid tribute to the commitment and enthusiasm of the Kingdom of Thailand as well as the Governor of Phuket and the people of Phuket, noting; ‘The X Games Qualifier and Junior X Games are now standards on Asia’s sporting calendar and Asia is well represented at the highest levels of competition.’
For further information please contact:
Stephanie Green Chen, X Games Media Centre, Phuket, tel (6676) 341 095 or email@example.com
Azmi Akop, Press Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Malaysia, (6012) 3717 925 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Bellitti, ESPN International, Chris.Bellitti@espn.com