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X Games: Bob Burnquist comes up big in air

Brazilian had suffered lower back injury in practice, but he nails jump in competition for gold. Schaar, 12, finishes last.

June 30, 2012|By Baxter Holmes, Andrew L. John and Andrew Owens
  • Bob Burnquist spins through the air on his way to land his gold medal winning run in the Skateboard Big Air finals.
Bob Burnquist spins through the air on his way to land his gold medal winning… (Patrick T. Fallon / Los Angeles…)

Bob Burnquist crashed Tuesday during practice for the Skateboard Big Air event on the Mega Ramp, and the pain was so great, he thought he'd have to sit out the X Games for the first time in his career.

But, just then, that seemed OK, because he looked around at his friends and his family, and, he said, "I thought, in the pursuit of gold, I already have gold."

Figuring he would be lucky if he competed at all in the finals Friday night with a lower back so hurt he could barely walk or stand, a injury that forced him into a wheelchair for 18 hours, the 35-year-old Brazilian wasn't thinking too much about results.

But then Burnquist went out and supplied unbelievable results that even he couldn't fathom: He won gold. Of his six runs, Burnquist completed only one, his third, but it was a good one: He nailed a switch-backside-Ollie-180 over the 70-foot gap into the 30-foot tall quarter pipe, where he successfully executed an indy-720-fakie.

That sounds complex, and the array of aerial moves was, especially for someone so injured.

But Burnquist earned a score of 94.33 on the run and it held up to earn him his second straight gold medal in the event and his 22nd X Games medal overall.

Mitchie Brusco, 15, won silver with a score of 93, and Nolan Munroe, 19, took bronze with a score of 91.

Tom Schaar, a 12-year-old from Malibu, finished last out of the six riders who reached the final with a score of 89.33.

Burnquist, who has competed in each X Games since it began in 1995, said he might miss the Skateboard Vert event Saturday, in which he is scheduled to compete.

Reynolds still king of the Street

Garrett Reynolds won his fifth consecutive gold medal in the BMX Freestyle Street event, which has been around for only five years, with an event-high 43 in the final run for a total score of 85, two points ahead of silver medalist Chad Kerley. "It's pretty cool," Reynolds said. "I seriously thought Chad had it the whole time."

Dakota Roche took bronze with a score of 69.

World record in Step Up

Ronnie Renner set an X Games and world record by clearing 47 feet in the Moto X Step Up final, shattering Matt Buyten's record of 37 feet, set last year, to win the gold medal.

Buyten (46 feet) finished second and Brian Deegan (39 feet) finished third.

Myles Richmond had to be carried off the court and was being evaluated for leg and ankle injuries, X Games officials said.

Etc.

Jackson Strong won his second consecutive Moto X Best Trick gold medal with a winning-run score of 91. Taka Higashino (90.33) took silver and Cameron Sinclair (89.33) won bronze Jeremy "Twitch" Sternberg won a gold medal in Moto X Best Whip, an event in which fans decide the winner by vote. Sternberg received a 32% majority vote of the six riders Alexis Sablone won a gold medal, her second in the X Games, in the women's Skateboard Street finals RallyCross driver Toomas "Topi" Heikkinen suffered a significant left ankle injury and abdominal pain when his car crashed into the metal jump ramp on the RallyCross course during a practice run. The 21-year-old is conscious and alert, according to X Games officials. He is not scheduled to compete in Sunday afternoon's final.

baxter.holmes@latimes.com

andrew.john@latimes.com

andrew.owens@latimes.com

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