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Action Sports

Portland and Dew Tour: A match made in midair

    During the AST Dew Tour’s BMX park final competition Sunday at the Rose Garden, Drew Mahalic said he recalled hearing spectators note that one of the athletes, Mike Spinner, had landed a 720, or two midair revolutions on his bike.

    The first year of the BMX, freestyle motocross and skateboarding stunt spectacle, “nobody even knew what that was called,” said Mahalic, chief executive of the Oregon Sports Authority.

    After four consecutive years of Portland anchoring the middle leg of the five-stop action sports tour, its fan base has become “more seasoned,” he said. Funnier, too. One spectator, bemused by the dearth of belts among BMX riders, waved a sign Sunday that read, “Pull Up Your Pants!”

    “The crowd is amazing here,” BMX rider Daniel Dhers said after his win Sunday in the park final. “They cheer maybe more than others.”

    Such appreciation for the tour’s nontraditional sports helps explain why it keeps returning to the Rose Quarter year after year. And why Dew Tour organizers expect a fifth incarnation of the tour in Portland for 2009, despite a 41/2 percent drop in attendance this year.

    “Everyone wants to see it happen, it’s just a matter of working through the details,” AST Dew Tour president Wade Martin said Monday. “We were really happy with the weekend, and it just sort of confirmed our thoughts that Portland continues to be a great stop for us.”

    — Excerpt from The Oregonian, August 26, 2008


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