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In the final event of X Games 15, Kenny Brack of Sweden managed to steal the gold from defending champion Travis Pastrana. Midway through the race, Pastrana’s car become lodged between the barrier walls. Understanding he had no chance of catching up to Brack, Pastrana ceded the race.
Only 25, Pastrana is one of the most decorated athletes in X Games history. This is his second year that he hasn’t walked away with a medal since beginning to compete in 1999. On the other hand, Brack’s win is quite the success story. Brack, who is a retired IndyCar driver, had never before competed in an X Games. At 43, Brack was one of the oldest competitors at the Games and is relatively new to rally car racing.
Fans have criticized the confusing formats in many of these events. To clue you guys in, here’s the rules explained over at ESPN’s live blog covering motocross at the X Games:
In what is pretty much thought of as the semifinals, both Adam Jones and Todd Potter were unable to advance to the finals. The commentators kept on saying that Jones wasn’t getting the flexibility he usually is able to pull off. I don’t know. What these guys are doing is just insane. I wouldn’t know how to judge any of these tricks. I know this is a competition, but I’m just so amazed at what each of these guys are doing that I completely forget they’re being scored.
Nevertheless, I felt Blake Williams was the most impressive throughout the day. His runs just seemed to have the most energy in them. Each trick was always somehow more confounding than the last. He definitely deserved to take the gold.
I’ve never watched this much coverage of the X Games in my life. I have to admit that I was never convinced of their appeal. Now I can say I’m a real fan. Maybe it’s because these guys are simply getting better. It’s almost like the Slam Dunk Contest in that they have a year to think of a performance that will top the greatest from last year. Also, ESPN has done a great job profiling the athletes and adding drama to the events. So far, it’s been very exciting.
Moments ago, Paul Rodriguez grabbed the gold medal in the X Games Skate Street competion, edging out Nyjah Huston and Adam Dyet, who earned the silver and bronze, respectively. Rodriguez was the silver medalist in last year’s Skate Street competition. Though he previously won the competition in ’04 and ’05, Ryan Sheckler was the favorite to win this year’s event.
In the final session, Sheckler attempted a trick down the staircase and rolled his ankle. He had to be carted off, leaving the remaining five skaters to contend. While the 14 year-old Nyjah Huston and Adam Dyet were both impressive, Rodriguez’s perfect switch kickflip and switch heelflip down the 12-stair were enough to hold off the others.
Born in San Clemente, CA, Sheckler was born into a family that supported his interest in skateboarding. His father, Randy, who was an old school skateboarder, had earlier built a skate park in the family’s backyard, which included a half pipe, table tops, and grind rails. It was here that Sheckler honed his craft.
During the summer of 1995, Randy built a quarter pipe and Ryan soon mastered that as well. A few years later Ryan joined the CASL (California Amateur Skateboarding League) and won the first contest he entered. Tony Hawk saw his performance and offered to practice with Sheckler. Their relationship continued, and after Sheckler had won every single CASL competition from 1997-2001, he signed his first eyewear sponsorship with Arnette (who Hawk was also with).
In 2003, at the age of 13, Sheckler became the youngest skateboarder to ever turn pro. That year he won at the X Games, Gravity Games, Vans Triple Crown, Slam City Jam. Sheckler remains the youngest athlete to ever win a gold medal at the X Games.
Sheckler currently rides for Plan B skateboards and is sponsored by Etnies Shoes, Bones Wheels, FKD Bearings, Nixon Watches, Oakley Eyewear, Red Bull, Volcom Stone Clothing and Panasonic.
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