After all the surgeries and disappointments, Nate Adams finally made his way back to the top of the podium with a gold-medal performance in Moto X speed and style, which combines racing and freestyle tricks for a final score.
The Glendale, Ariz., native had a silver and two bronze medals to his name after returning from an ugly crash in 2011, but found gold at Staples Center on Friday with a win over Blake Williams.
"It really hasn't sunk in yet. The least three years have been really tough, lots of injuries, depressed," Adams said. "I had kind of given up on myself, but there's a part of you that just doesn't let the dream die.
"Now the luck is falling in my lap."
Going into the penultimate turn in his final lap, Williams' front tire slid out in front of him, causing him to fall off his bike, allowing Adams to pass him and cross the finish line before starting his victory lap.
With Adams keeping the pressure on, Williams said, "I knew I had to get out ahead of him as far as I could. As soon as I went for it, it didn't work out."
Adams almost didn't even make the finals, finishing second to X Games Brazil gold medalist Lance Coury and Andre Villa in his first two heats, but managed to advance on style points.
Mike Mason was going for his third straight gold in speed and style before Moto X step up bronze medalist Matt Buyten rammed into Mason's rear brake coming around a turn, breaking it and ending Mason's night in the opening round.
In the bronze-medal match, Villa finished comfortably ahead of Buyten by 3.26 seconds.
Renner takes fifth step up title
Ronnie Renner may be one of the sadder competitors after hearing the X Games is leaving Los Angeles. After all, he looks pretty comfortable at Staples Center, winning a record fifth Moto X step up title Friday night.
Renner easily cleared the bar set at 381/2 feet to avenge his bronze finish at X Games Munich. But the Tampa, Fla., native first had to watch as Munich gold medalist Libor Podmol hit the bar on the descent of his second run at 381/2 feet before winning the gold.
"Any time you get a record it's a great accomplishment," Renner said. "I'm just pumped to do more of these things. If you're not having fun you shouldn't be doing this stuff."
Podmol and Renner both cleared the bar set at 371/2 feet in the previous round, with Renner clipping the bar but not knocking it down. Renner never needed to attempt a second run, clearing every height on his first try.
Buyten took the bronze after failing to clear 371/2 feet, after all three were guaranteed a medal by clearing 35 feet.
Huston, Lasek advance to finals
Nyjah Huston cruised through his qualifying heat in street league skateboarding at L.A. Live to qualify for Saturday's finals.
Huston, 18, has won both street league skateboarding events this year in Brazil and Barcelona, before dropping out of X Games Munich because of an injury. In 2006, Huston became the youngest competitor in X Games history at 11 years old.
Paul Rodriguez, who won the 2012 street league skateboarding gold medal also qualified for Saturday's final.
Meanwhile in skateboard vert, Bucky Lasek won his qualifying heat with a score of 91.00 on his final run.
Lasek, 40, is going for a 2013 X Games sweep of skateboard vert after winning in Brazil, Barcelona and Munich. Pierre Luc-Gagnon, who won gold in skateboard vert in 2012, posted a 92.66 in his elimination heat to advance.
Skateboarding big air gold medalist Elliot Sloan failed to qualify for the finals.
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