Frisco’s Mike Minor earns bronze at X Games adaptive skateboard event

Antonio Olivero
Summit Daily

FRISCO — Mike Minor now has an X Games medal to pair with his Paralympic medals.

The 29-year-old Frisco resident and Pennsylvania native won a bronze medal Saturday night in Minneapolis at the inaugural X Games adaptive park skateboarding event. Minor, an avid skateboarder since he was 5 years old, won his first X Games medal three years after an injury suffered in practice prevented him from taking part in his only other time at the X Games, in 2016, in adaptive snowboarding.

Saturday’s gold and silver medals went to Vinicios Sardi and Filipe Nunes, respectively, who both hail from Brazil.

Minor found out this winter that he was one of eight adaptive skateboarders invited to X Games. He credits his time of recent training and having fun on the Frisco, Leadville and Breckenridge skateparks as helping him to earn a medal Saturday night, just the second — and by far largest — skateboarding competition he’s ever taken part in.

“An X Games medal is on the list of medals I truly wanted,” Minor said. “It ranks pretty high with the other accomplishments I’ve made.”

At last year’s Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics, Minor won gold in banked slalom and silver in snowboardcross. In snowboarding, Minor competes in upper-limb competitions, as he was born missing his right forearm.

On Saturday night in Minneapolis, the first-ever X Games skateboard park competition took pace in a jam-session format, with eight skateboarders taking turns dropping in for 40-second runs for 20 minutes. Along with Minor, other competitors were below-the-knee and below-the-waist amputees.

Minor credited his ability to land a gapped backside 50-50 onto the rainbow rail, gapping off of it, in the park’s central volcano island as a big reason why the judges awarded him the bronze.

“If you had done something that no one was doing, I think it was going to score really highly,” Minor said. “The rail was kind of the centerpiece, and I did better in the competition, because nobody else was attempting to do the rail, no other skater.”

Looking ahead, Minor is excited to continue his adaptive snowboarding career as well as adaptive skateboarding. He said he thinks the event will return to X Games next summer, and he would like to take part. Though skateboarding will make its debut at next summer’s Tokyo 2020 Games, adaptive skateboarding won’t be on the official sport list.

That said, Minor is hopeful it will take place as a demo event and, if so, would like to skate in Tokyo.

“We hope that the adaptive skateboard park comp at X Games will help in the effort to include skateboarding in the Paralympics,” Summit County local, Paralympic snowboard medalist and co-founder of Adaptive Action Sports Amy Purdy said in a press release.

The Copper Mountain-based Adaptive Action Sports partnered with ESPN to put on the competition. In its history, the nonprofit organization has fielded 12 athletes to the U.S. Paralympic Team.