Saturday, September 3, 2011

Shoe City Invitational at ESPN X Games 17 presented by AAS

July 31, 2011, was a huge day at the ESPN Summer X Games for skateboarders with physical disabilities. The first annual Shoe City Invitational and AAS Adaptive Skate Clinic,” deputed for permanently disabled youth and veterans.

In the morning starting at 9 am, Adaptive Action Sports – with support from Shoe City -- hosted a learn-to-ride skateboard clinic.  Among the individuals who showed up for the clinic was Jami Goldman, a Paralympic runner and double below knee amputee, and Cody Reid, a 3 year old single above knee amputee with a heart of gold. Cody reminded us all of why we do what we do! Thanks also to Danielle McLaughlin and George Garcia Jr. for attending the clinic.

Levi Brown, Robert Brink and Chad Tim-Tim; guest judges
In the afternoon, five of the best “Adaptive” Skateboarders in the world competed for a prize purse of over $3,000.00. Element team riders Levi Brown and Chad Tim Tim were on hand with renowned skateboard journalist, Robert Brink, to judge the afternoon event.  

The competition was held in a best of 3 run format with a jam session at the end. A bonus $100 was thrown on top of the pot for best trick during the jam. Needless to say Levi, Chad and Robert had their work cut out for them while judging the likes of Oscar Loreto (single-below the knee amputee), Evan Strong (single-below the knee amputee) Greg Shaw (Greg’s adaptation is something called sacral agenesis, at birth, a cell “mis-divides” and causes a defect in leg development. Greg is also missing two vertebrae in his spine), Buddy Elias (a single-above the knee amputee recently from a single-below the knee amputee) and Justin Beauchesne (a quad-amputee).

The competition was unbelievably exciting and undeniably awe inspiring. Each skater pushed themselves physically and mentally searched for their most innovative tricks to manufacture on course. From Greg Shaw’s powerful 360’s to Justin Beauchesne’s pressure-flip variations there wasn’t a definitive moment to take your eyes off course.
Greg Shaw had a 1st place winning experience at this, his first, AAS event. “AAS gave me a chance to be out here and to be free. It’s a great organization where kids like me can get out and achieve their dreams” Greg said of Adaptive Action Sports.

Greg Shaw, 1st Place
Evan Strong put together a strong showing and walked home with a 2nd place finish followed by Justin Beauchesne in 3rd. Oscar Loreto finished in 4th place just squeaking by the one and only Buddy Elias who placed 5th

Every skater won who attended the event. The cash purse was divided throughout the total field. “We believe that these amazing athletes deserve the same opportunities as able bodied pros; competition and financial support” says Daniel Gale, AAS Executive Director and Co-Founder. “We also believe that every athlete who attends our competitions deserves a portion of the purse” Gale added.

The AAS X 17 competition was the third event of the summer sponsored by Shoe City in 2011.  The preceding competitions were held on June 25 by the organization Life Rolls On at the Venice Skate Park in Venice Beach, CA, and by Extremity Games on June 24-25 at Texas Ski Ranch, San Antonio, TX. 

“It’s a great thrill to help such a deserving community” said Leedy Ying, Shoe City President, adding “It was an awesome event and I am looking forward to future adaptive skateboarding events with Adaptive Action Sports.”

3 year old Cody Reid and Evan Strong
“We are excited to expand our adaptive skateboard opportunities at the X Games and to have Shoe City support our mission,” says AAS Co-Founder and Development Director Amy Purdy. “The addition of a “learn to skateboard clinic” and a competition for a cash purse will open new doors for adaptive skateboarders everywhere,” she added. Amy had no reservations crediting the X Games for their generosity and support, making the statement that “X Games has been an amazing five-year supporter of AAS adaptive programming and continues to provide a great venue, bringing together able bodied and adaptive athletes.”

To check out firsthand what these awesome athletes can do and you are in the Los Angeles area make sure to attend the “Get on Board” AAS Skate Clinic, Demo and Fundraiser on Saturday September 17th at the Shoe City Center in Whittier California. Contact the Los Angeles AAS L.A. Skate Sector Program Coordinator Oscar Loreto for more details,

AAS would like to say a special thank you to all of our sponsors including; Shoe City, Freedom Innovations, Element, Vans, Dakine, Protec, VitaCoco and the ESPN X Games.

For more information on the Shoe City Invitational/AAS Adaptive Skate Clinic Experience, please contact AAS Co-Founder/Executive Director Daniel Gale at For media or sponsorship inquiries please contact AAS Co-Founder/Development Director Amy Purdy at

Adaptive Action Sports, Inc., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to create and promote Action Sports camps, events and programs for youth, young adults and wounded veterans living with permanent physical disabilities. Since 2005, AAS has sponsored over two dozen action sports events and is widely credited with the development of adaptive Skateboarding, Moto X and Snowboarding.

About Shoe City; 

Shoe City is located in the heart of Los Angeles, featuring 32 retail stores located in the Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. We have been in business for over 30 years, giving the people of Los Angeles a nice, comfortable place to shop for shoes.

Shoe City carries the latest and hottest brands of shoes. With brands such as Vans, Nike, and Converse,  shoes for the whole family. Shoe City also carries Skechers Shape Ups and Reebok Easy Tones. You will find skate brands like DC, DVS, Lakai, Circa, Etnies in our stores, and athletic brands such as Reebok, Jordan, Adidas, KSwiss, Puma, and much more. We have all sizes from a baby size 1 to a men size 15. 

Need sandals? Shoe City carries sandals from Roxy, Oneill, Quiksilver, Rainbow, Reef, and fashion sandals from companies like Classified and Soda. You can also find all the accessories you want from Jansport backpacks, Nike socks, purses, hats, and skateboards. For more information, visit

Shoe City Invitational from Daniel Gale on Vimeo. This additional footage courtesy of the ESPN X Games

Buddy Elias

Amy Purdy and Jami Goldman

5-O from Oscar Loreto

Justin Buchesne

Greg Shaw

Evan Strong

The Whole Posse! Thank you to all of ya!!