When Frankfort’s own and defending X Games BMX freestyle vert ramp bronze medalist Zach Newman dropped in at this year’s competition Thursday night, he had tables full of friends and supporters back home cheering him on.
About two dozen fans packed into the newly opened Goodwood Brewing on West Main Street to watch the 2007 Frankfort High School graduate make his third X Games appearance.
“We are just so extremely proud of him,” said Rene True, who choked up describing Newman as a true South Frankfort kid. “I just get so emotional.”
True and Newman’s parents, Kevin and Debi, have belonged to same couples’ dinner group in town for nearly 15 years and the BMXer is one of several Frankfort kids who grew up together.
The Newmans traveled to Minneapolis, site of the X Games to watch their son compete, so True and the other five couples in the dinner group decided to turn a trip to the brewery into a watch party.
Although the X Games was being livestreamed on a few big screens, a few at the table preferred to watch Newman’s runs on their phones and they all shouted out and threw their hands in the air every time he landed a trick.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” True added.
Despite earning a higher score than he posted last year, he placed fifth in the competition with a score of 84.33. Riders are allowed two runs and higher of the scores counts as a final score. Newman’s first run earned him a 78.66.
Vince Byron took home gold with an impressive 90.66. Jamie Bestwick was silver medalist with 89.33. Mykel Larrin placed third with 88.66 and Coco Zurita’s 85 was good enough for fourth.
When Newman placed third in last year’s event he told ESPN that sharing the podium with Byron and Bestwick was “one of the greatest days of my life.”
Newman, who turned 30 in late July, currently resides in Bellevue in northern Kentucky. He works a full-time gig at a bike shop when he’s not touring with his BMX stunt show company.