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GOLDEN DESIGN: Yoshawn Smith submitted his original artwork, above, to ESPN and won their contest to design their official medal for X Games 15 last weekend.Â The network slighty modified Smithâ€™s art for medals, below which reflected Los Angeles for the first time as opposed to Hollywood.
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Local artist puts unique stamp on X-GamesFremont HS graduate designed the official medals for annual showcaseAt X-Games 15 this past week, the top three finishers received medals designed by a local artist and extreme sports fan here in Los Angeles.Yoshawn Smith, a graduate of Fremont High School this past summer, won a contest in June held by ESPN to have his design created for the annual extreme sports showcase.Smith, 18, heard about the contest from his art teacher and settled on a design with two hands making the shape of L.A. with their fingers with "Los Angeles X-Games 15" tattooed on each knuckle."[They] said they wanted a medal that represents L.A. to its best because past medals have represented Hollywood." Smith said. "And this is the best way to do it."The official medals changed the design--putting the logo on one of the hands and an X-Games ring on the other--but the look was all his.After winning, he was given a VIP pass to attend all four days of competition where he met several of the competitors, including Motocross champion James Stewart. Most were surprised when they realized that he was behind their medals."They all liked the look," he said.It was a dream come true for this extreme sports fan--Smith is a skateboarder, rollerblader and BMX bike rider. But long before that, he was practicing his artistic skill.Smith has been drawing since he was 5 and got inspired after watching cartoons, especially Japanese anime like Dragon Ball Z. His love only grew as he got older"When I got to middle school, I started coming up with my own characters and by high school, I'd start filling up sketchbook after sketchbook with ideas," he said. No matter where inspiration struck--even in the middle of class or during P.E.--he'd sit down and start writing.He'll be attending Santa Monica College in the fall to study art and has dreams of either starting a clothing line or opening a tattoo shop. He'd also like to have art galleries around the city or stay involved with sports by doing graphic design.But after last weekend, he's already has millions seeing one part of his portfolio.