Bucky Lasek slammed his skateboard down on the top of the vert ramp in celebration. It was only his first run of the day, but it set the tone for the contest and ultimately was enough to win.
After winning the first vert gold medal at X Games Los Angeles in 2003, Lasek won the last Saturday, securing an unprecedented fourth straight gold and eighth overall in the event.
"The fact that I opened up X Games with a win and closed it with a win, that's pretty gratifying," Lasek said.
Lasek, 40, made full use of the halfpipe, mixing in flip, grab and grind tricks on his way back to the top of the podium. The highlight was his nollie flip stalefish 360, which he said won the best trick contest at Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, in April.
Pierre-Luc Gagnon, who won the event last year and entered as Saturday's top seed, took silver and Andy Macdonald broke out a 720 (21/2 rotations) to win bronze via a tiebreaker.
"His runs have a very nice flow to the point where there's no dead spots," Gagnon said of Lasek. "Some tricks for him might be a setup, but they're definitely not a setup for most people."
Macdonald, who turned 40 on July 31, is one of three athletes to have competed in all 19 X Games. He entered the event with two fourth-place finishes this year, but hadn't reached the podium until Saturday.
"It took me all year to get here," Macdonald said. "It's great to be back."
Nyjah Huston wins street
Nyjah Huston floored the street league skateboarding competition Saturday to win his third gold medal in the event this year.
Huston, 18, finished with 53.00 points and landed a variety of tricks with extreme consistency. A caballerial to noseblunt slide over the A-frame rail was one of the highlights.
"I just tried to come out swinging with all my hardest stuff in the beginning," Huston said. "So once I landed that stuff I put myself in a comfortable enough position to feel like I could take it home."
Chris Cole finished second with 44.60 points and Luan Oliveira was third with 44.20.
"The fact that somebody can land tricks as often as he lands tricks, even when they don't go right, that's the actual magic behind Nyjah," Cole said. "It's not the tricks. It's the fact that he does them all, all the time."
Chad Kerley beats out Garrett Reynolds
Chad Kerley dethroned Garrett Reynolds in BMX street.
Reynolds had won the event for all seven years of the disciplines existence before Kerley bumped him off the top seat of the podium in an incredibly close competition.
"This is Garrett's event," Kerley said. "He's a legend, and I got into BMX because of him, from watching his videos. That's why it hasn't hit me that I beat him yet. I never I thought I'd be in this position."
Kerley, 19, and Reynolds both logged 45s in their second of two final runs, but Kerley's 42-point first run, one point higher than Reynold's, was the difference. Kerley showcased numerous technical and manual tricks in his two lines.
Reynolds took silver and Jeremiah Smith, who logged an 80, claimed bronze.
"He's going to be the next big thing," Reynolds said of Kerly. "There's going to be a kid who watches him and follows him, and that's how the sport progresses."
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