Going Once!

My latest ESPNTHEMAG.com Action Sports Report, filed very, very late last night …

Like baseball and Alyssa Milano, so too, art and action sports are inextricably tied. This week, we pay a visit to the Nike Lightning Bolts Art Exhibit at the Montalban Theater in Hollywood. The show has toured the world since opening in Beijing this summer and Wednesday night, Nike kicked off an auction to sell the one-of-a-kind BMX number plates. FMX legend Mike Metzger, who grew up riding BMX bikes and is a fantastic artist (and tattoo artist), painted a plate, as did Haro Bikes founder Bob Haro, his creative director Pete Demos, rider Taj Mihelich, Jackass creator Jeff Tremaine and about 40 other artists. The proceeds from this auction benefit the Athlete Recovery Fund, a foundation started by BMX pro Allan Cooke, that provides financial support, grants and scholarships to severely injured athletes.



At the end of the evening, I finally stole a few minutes from Nike 6.0 rider Nigel Sylvester, 21, who spent the night shaking hands like a man running for office. Sylvester was born, raised and currently resides in Queens, NY, where he recently opened his own BMX clothing boutique called Format.

“It’s awesome. It’s the best way to give back to the community, to the kids,” Sylvester said. Since opening in May, Sylvester has invited his buddies to Queens and held demos at the store, and hopes to sponsor his own team by next summer. “I’ve had kids come up to me and say they started riding because they came to one of our demos and saw us ride,” Sylvester said. “Growing up in Queens, I never thought I could make it to this level. But here I am. And to have kids tell me I’m their idol and that they ride because of me, there is nothing better than having a positive influence on kids.”


Leave a Comment