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Legendary Tony Hawk welcomes the X Games to Austin during downtown kickoff

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Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo Tony Hawk
46-year-old skateboarder legend Tony Hawk heads down the ramp. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
A half-pipe was constructed on Congress Avenue in the middle of downtown Austin for the X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo and the X Games Vert competitions. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Spectators waited for hours ahead of time to get a good spot in front of the half-pipe. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Athletes will head to COTA for the remainder of the games.  Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Neal Hendrix. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Skateboarders came out to welcome the X Games to Austin. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
The X Games vert competition immediately followed the opening event. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Texas skateboarder, Chris Gentry, joined Hawk in the demo. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Tony Hawk announces his excitement for this year's X Games on ESPN. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo Kevin Staab
Kevin Staab. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo Tony Hawk
Tony Hawk. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Neal Hendrix. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Tony Hawk. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
COTA will play host to the rest of the games. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
BMXer Kevin Robinson. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
The crowd cheers on the athletes during their demonstration. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Tony Hawk and friends demo. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo Kevin Staab
Kevin Staab. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Tony Hawk pairs up with one of his friends to do some doubles skateboarding. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo Vincent Villa Gomez
Fan Vincent Villa Gomez caught Tony Hawk's helmut after he threw it into the crowd at the end of the demo. Photo by Shelley Neuman
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo Tony Hawk
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo Kevin Staab
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo Tony Hawk
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo Kevin Staab
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo
Austin X Games Tony Hawk and Friends Demo Vincent Villa Gomez

Austin welcomed the X Games into town on Thursday evening with an inaugural celebration featuring legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk and friends. 

On a half pipe constructed in the middle of Congress Avenue, Hawk joined fellow athletes including skateboarders Neal Hendrix, Chris Gentry and Kevin Staab and BMX rider Kevin Robinson for the official demonstration. 

Throngs of fans came out in support of the X Games, taking over the streets around the Texas State Capitol for an evening of extreme sports. Following the demo, the games began with the skateboarding and BMX vert finals. And, in true Austin fashion, Brooklyn-based synth-pop duo Hey Ghost! closed out the opening festivities with a performance. 

The X Games now roll on to the Circuit of the Americas, where the sports competition and music festival will remain for the rest of the weekend. For a full roundup of the weekend's events, take a look at our picks here

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