FreestyleXtreme Magazine Issue 25 - Page 70

Awesome. You briefly touched on judging just now, but I heard you introduced a new judging format as well. How did that work? It seems everyone – X-Fighters, Nitro Circus, IFMXF, X Games – has their own judging systems, but I want to standardize how the sport is judged in a way that people understand. We decided we needed to eliminate the variables and agree on what a trick is worth, then add style and execution scores. So we made a list of all the tricks, then the judges set scores for each up to 100 before we went to the riders and asked them for their thoughts. We took the average from all the riders and all the judges, and that confirmed the difficulty score for each trick. The only things the judges judged was style points and overall impression. That score scale will be optimised after a few events. I think it’s cool you involved the riders in that process. You know probably better than anyone which tricks are harder than others, but you still went back to get the riders’ thoughts. You have to. But what’s exciting is what we can do in the future. This year is just version 1.0 with Stact [the app]. In version 2.0 there’s potential for both the crowd and the riders themselves to be additional judges by using the Stact app on their mobile phones. In version 3.0, we can have people judging from their couch from home. Another cool feature with Stact is a chip you can install on each bike and a camera following the rider around, so the judges and the audience at home, or at the arena can scroll back on the replay of a trick or a crash. That’s amazing. It’s exciting to think how technology will be able to help remove the variables in judging, but also involve the crowd. Live entertainment desperately needs a way to interact with the audience. Hell, they’re on their phones anyway so why not give them something to do on it? So leading up to Ullevaal Xtreme, now many events have you promoted? I’ve done about 30-40 events of different sizes. I just love the sport, but I’m 36, I have 1.5 meters of steel in my body and 30 broken bones. I couldn’t keep doing contests, and I chose another road to stay in the sport longer. I love the creative part of being a promoter – my passion’s gone from trying to be the best in the world to trying to please an audience and give everyone a great experience. Norway seems like a fairl y interesting place to try and make a living out of promoting action sports events though. Oh, it’s been a fight. Norway’s a small country of 4.5 million people and I’m going against all the odds here. There have been tough times where I haven’t made much money at all, but I’ve kept at it because I believed in it, the word is spreading and the product we have is making people excited. Was this part of your plan, to build up to something like Ullevaal Xtreme? I knew one day I’d invite riders to an event like this. That was my goal and I’m confident enough to say that I’ve got really good at it. With my experience as an athlete and enthusiasm for the shows, after this I’ll be ready to take on new challenges as well. There needs to be more people like me doing this, as we need as many big events as possible to keep our sport existing and progressing. If there are no events, the riders have nothing to push for. When did you quit competing in FMX and why? You know, it’s a story I’ve never told internationally and people probably wonder why I quit. First of all, I accomplished much, much more than I thought I ever would, but you’re always chasing more medals and more wins. Then when I broke my femur in Poland in that horrific crash [in 2011], I thought I was going to die. I broke my pelvis in seven places, my femur was just f**ked, and I was in a wheelchair for six weeks. I decided to come back after that – it wasn’t going to be my end. So against all the doctors’ orders, I came back to ride X-Fighters in Dubai, which was my first contest back. After everything I’d just been through, I didn’t even know if I could ride again, but I qualified second. u