Raven Tershy slides over a rail section while competing in the Skateboard… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)
Santa Cruz native Raven Tershy only finished two runs in the skateboard park finals, but those two runs were all he needed to win his first X Games gold medal. Tershy's total of 82 points edged the 81 of defending gold medalist Pedro Barros.
"He deserved it," Barros said. "He skated the whole contest amazing ? It was a really good feeling to see my friend out there, killing it out there."
Barros opened the finals with two runs of 40 and 41, respectively, to take what appeared to be a commanding and decisive lead. Meanwhile, Tershy fell on his first run, and posted a 38 in his second. His third run tally of 44, a high for the day, gave him all the lead he needed, as in each of Barros' attempts to regain the lead, the Brazilian crashed.
With victory in hand, Tershy embarked on one final run, only to give the crowd a scare with an ugly crash.
"I'd been looking at that gap the whole time," Tershy said. "I just figured I'd try it because the contest was about to end."
Tershy's attempt to clear one of the biggest gaps on the transition-based concrete and wood-hybrid course fell just short. Or, as he said, the gap was "just that much further" than he expected.
"If I landed it, I'd have been happy and there probably would have been some more points up on the board," he said, with a bag of ice already on his right ankle. "It hurts, but it's fine. I just didn't go fast enough. Didn't clear the gap that I was trying to clear."
Ben Hatchell finished third with 75 points, and defending bronze medalist Kevin Kowalski and Costa Mesa native Omar Hassan finished with 66 points apiece to round out the finals.
The final five riders skated through a 15-minute heat in which each rider took as many 40-second runs as possible.
Scores were based on maneuvers, degree of difficulty, variety, continuity of run, originality and style, height on jumps and use of the course. The top two scores per rider counted toward their final score.