The future of Skateboarding Big-Air may belong to people like 14-year-old Mitchie Brusco, but for now the X Games gold medal belongs to Bob Burnquist.
Brusco, invited to the X Games after recently becoming only the second person to have landed a 900 on the MegaRamp (Burnquist was the first), finished admirably in fifth place during Friday night's marquee competition at Staples Center in Los Angeles. But it was Burnquist who stole the show and reclaimed a title held for the past two years by perennial rival Jake Brown.
Burnquist, 34, who hobbled into the competition with an array of injuries, took the lead on his second of five runs by performing a switch 180 over the 70-foot gap of the MegaRamp, then sticking a double-grab 540 above the quarterpipe wall. That was good for a score of 92.66, placing him ahead of Adam Taylor.
Burnquist, who won the Big-Air gold in 2007-08, matched his winning score on his fourth run with a switch 540/double-grab 540 combo (see video).
Brown, 36, who had been Burnquist's nemesis for the past two years, nailing the winning run at the end of both competitions, was unable to complete a routine on either of his five runs. He fell while attempting a back-flip over the gap on his final run. Taylor ended up in second with a score of 89.66, reaching the podium for the first time in the event. Brazil's Edgard Pereria was third (87.00).
Afterward, Burnquist said he was just happy to have completed a scoring run on an apparatus as difficult as the MegaRamp.
It was a difficult night indeed, as only six full routines were completed -- two by Burnquist -- out of 40 attempts by the eight finalists.
As for Bruscoe, the youngest competitor at the X Games, he turned in an admirable fifth-place performance, on the merit of a backside 36 over the gap, to a 540 over the quarterpipe wall.
Bruscoe, who stands only 5 feet 1 and weighs just 95 pounds, was not disappointed with his performance against the daredevil sport's luminaries. He told sideline reporter Jenn Brown: "I'm feeling good. I didn't expect to do anything; I'm just happy to be here."
Fans can expect a lot more from "Little Tricky" in the years to come.