../events/2003 Gravity Games

Sources: www.ridebmx.com, www.gravitygames.com, BMX Rider UK #16 november 2003, Ride BMX US #92 january 2004, ...
If you want to add any info, please contact buissonrouge@23mag.com.
Date: september 2003
Place: Cleveland, Ohio.
The course looked incredible, with multiple lines and a cool bowl/berm. All of this combined presented a lot of options, and the trail riders loved it.

Cory Nastazio and T.J. Lavin both missed out on qualifying due to crashes in the prelims. There was still plenty of talent in the finals, though.
The Australian invasion is continuing, and Ryan Guettler is helping to lead the charge.
When it comes to contests, Stephen Murray has one of the coolest mentalities in the sport: Either kick ass or go down trying—no playing it safe. During Stephen's last run he crashed a 360-lookdown flip over the first set, but he instantly went back to the top of the roll-in to give it another go. This time he stuck a perfect 360-flip and wasn't finished. Everyone knows Stephen has the double-flip in the bag, and it looked like he wanted to do a double over the last set, but he got balled up going into the berm and never made it to the last jump. Stephen just laughed it off, though.
Everyone was stoked that Reuel Erickson was in the finals, and he was not holding back. Decades mid-pack, a perfect superman-decade over the last set, and a double-flip attempt had the crowd—and the rest of the riders—going nuts.
Once again, Steve McCann proved he is a force to be reckoned with. He's got big tricks like crazy (flip-whips, 720s, etc.), and he is not afraid to let them fly.
Mike Aitken and Brian Foster were the two guys doing the most transfer action, and you could tell they were both raised on dirt. Mikey ended up crashing and possibly separating his shoulder, but he was too punk rock to use the sling the medics gave him.
Chris Doyle makes things look so easy, but maybe that has something to do with the fact that he does all of his tricks about five times every time he rides the trails. I'm pretty psyched. I played it safe and it paid off. I had a million different things going on in my head, but I just played it safe and it turned out good. My best run was the third one. I hit the first set with a tailwhip, turned down the second, 360, then X-up and turn down in and out of the berm. The judges really look for tricks on every set, and a lot of people don't trick in or out of the berm, so little stuff like that probably helped me out a lot. Then a 360 no-footed can-can on the last set, which I didn't do in practice, so I'm so psyched just to pull it.
While Doyle and McCann both rode well, the contest was all about Ryan Nyquist. His last run included a 720 over the first set, suicide-360 over the second, and a double-barspin flip over the last. And did I mention that Ryan already had the win on lockdown before his last run? The guy will not stop.
bmx rider
Brian Foster on the cover of BMX Rider UK #16 november 2003

1. Ryan Nyquist
2. Chris Doyle
3. Steve McCann
4. Reuel Erickson
5. Todd Walkowiak
6. Ryan Guettler
7. Corey Bohan
8. Mike Aitken
9. Brian Foster
10. Stephen Murray
The course was huge with a lot to offer from box jump warrior tricks to tech stuff if you wanted it. Park practice was held regularly all weekend long, and by the time of the finals, the riders had the course dialed.
The one miserable thing to come out of the park practice resulted when Chad Kagy over-cleared the box on a double-flip and crashed hard. A trip to the hospital revealed that he had fractured his fifth and sixth vertebrate, taking him out of the contest, and out of commission for a while.
Qualifying for park was pretty straightforward, except for Dave Mirra. While going for a wallride over a gap, something went wrong which resulted in Dave slamming from about seven feet straight onto his hip. He still qualified for the finals in ninth, but his hip was so jacked that he wanted to pull out of the contest and let Colin Mackay ride instead (Colin just missed qualifying by getting 11th). The rules wouldn't allow it, though, so Dave decided to ride after all.

The park finals were the last event of the weekend. The stands were packed, but the only problem was that a storm was blowing in quick. The contest started early, and if every rider only completed one run before it started to rain, the first round scores would be the only scores that mattered (usually it's two runs with only the best run counting).

Ryan Guettler killed it again—double-whip transfers and so much more. Fellow Aussie Steve McCann was on a mission and started his run with a perfect 720-lookback over the box. Dave Osato was beat up from qualifying, but he still rode well, almost pulling the tailwhip-to-nosepick he pulled in qualifying. Mike Laird had ridden strong in qualifying, and he started his first run in the finals with a double-whip over the box, but wound up crashing. Mike decided to write off run number one and try to kill it in round two. Gary Young and Brian Foster sprinted around the course with lines and transfers everywhere, and Alistair Whitton produced a big tailwhip over a gap, doing a disaster on the eight-foot sub wall.
Since Dave Mirra had qualified in ninth he was the second rider to ride in the finals. Everyone knew he was in pain from his crash, but adrenaline must have taken over because he went crazy. Double-whip over the box, perfect wallride-to-flair on the first attempt, and a lot more. Mirra's first run score had him in first place, and it looked like it would be up to Nyquist to stop him from winning.
Ryan Nyquist started his run with a truckdriver over the box backward, a 540-truckdriver on a quarterpipe, and then went straight into a 720 over the box. This looked like the only run that could beat Mirra, but while Ryan was doing a wallride he cased the landing, which wrecked his speed. It looked like Ryan was planning to jump the sub rail next, but his speed was gone, so he tried an impromptu 360-tailtap that ended up with him on the flat-bottom of the mini. He got up and tried to get things going again, but his back wheel was screwed up. This left Nyquist in second place after round one, and Ryan was looking forward to his second run to make up for it.
A few riders got to take their second run in the finals, but then the rain kicked in. Since everyone had gotten one run completed, only the first round scores were counted, and Mirra's first run had won the contest. Mirra went from not planning to ride to "accidentally" winning.
1. Dave Mirra
2. Ryan Nyquist
3. Steve McCann
4. Ryan Guettler
5. Josh Harrington
6. Gary Young
7. Dave Osato
8. Alistair Whitton
9. Brian Foster
10. Mike Laird
Simon Tabron is now brakeless. Simon said that earlier in the week, Zack Shaw had broken his arm when his brake lever got caught in his pocket during a lookdown, and that prompted Simon to remove his brakes altogether. Even without the brakes, Simon still delivered his vert arsenal, including all of his spinning tricks, including a perfect 900 to end his last run.
Jamie Bestwick wasn't in the top three. Jamie won the qualifying rounds by a mile, and he was doing the highest airs of the contest by far. In the finals, a couple of falls held him back, yet he still pulled off a tailwhip-flair carving over the channel.
After getting second at the X Games, Dave Mirra killed it this time around. Dave has double-whips so dialed that he throws them at will (during qualifying he did one after simply manualing the previous wall). His five-whips seem to be just as dialed, along with his opposite one-footed X-up flairs. After his time was up Dave tried a tailwhip-flair carving over the channel (instead of going straight up and down like at the X Games), and he just missed it, but he still had the title.
1. Dave Mirra
2. Kevin Robinson
3. Simon Tabron
4. Chad Kagy
5. Jimmy Walker
6. Jamie Bestwick
7. Dennis McCoy
8. John Parker
9. Koji Kraft
10. Jay Eggleston