X Games 16 made a triumphant return to the LA Coliseum today with a series of Motocross Events. Moto X Freestyle provided some unexpected excitement. Travis Pastrana more than made good on his $5 bet with Blake "Bilko" Williams by competing in freestyle for the first time since X Games 12, earning himself yet another X Game Gold.
During his victory lap, Pastrana quietly stomped a double backflip with ease at the end of his winning run. He proved his greatness once again making his trademark trick look pedestrian.
Pastrana approached the coarse with creativity, cruising through the coarse like he was on a bmx bike. He used the wall section as if it was a quarter pipe, he back flipped a tiny hit out of nowhere, pulled a double flip when no one was expecting it.
Instead of opting to play it safe knowing he has three remaining events at X Games Travis elected to put on a show, "That double back flip was for the fans."
Rookie to the X Games, Levi Sherwood won his first ever Silver Medal, while no stranger to X Games hardware, Nate Adams took home the bronze medal.
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images
Of all the dangerous tricks Travis Pastrana has tried, and all the broken or bruised body parts he has endured, nothing has frustrated the action sports legend quite like the 720, aka, the Toilet Paper Roll.
Though the name sounds innocuous, consider what the trick entails: launching from a steep ramp and back-flipping a motorcycle while simultaneously attempting an off-axis spin, completing a 720-degree rotation by trick's end.
Or just flip a roll of toilet paper across the room and envision that being a motorcycle with Pastrana riding it.
The most decorated athlete in the X Games' freestyle motocross discipline, with seven gold and 11 overall medals, has become obsessed with a trick he invented.
There's an ample supply of reasons why kids shouldn't try this at home.
Pastrana, 26, the star of the madcap and stunt-rich MTV reality show, "Nitro Circus," unveiled the trick at last year's X Games. He crash-landed so violently on his rump and back that both are still sore one year later.
He had planned to give the Toilet Paper Roll another go during this year's Best-Trick competition Friday in Los Angeles, but on Wednesday he pulled out of competition after deciding the trick is just too risky and needs more refinement on the sodden moss ramps he uses for practice landings.
Though his average was improving in the weeks leading up to X Games 16, during his final practice Wednesday morning things didn't go well. "I crashed three times and landed it once," Pastrana said. That was just a few minutes after he alerted X Games officials that he was withdrawing from Friday's Best Trick competition.
Even for an athlete known for calculating risk then seeming to toss the results aside that isn't good enough. The risks are simply too high.
Pastrana once bounced back from death's door -- he spent two weeks in a coma and three months in a wheelchair when he came up short while attempting a 120-foot jump as a 14-year-old.
The modern-day Evil Knievel has endured multiple concussions, a broken back and countless broken bones.
Pastrana brought the X Games crowd to a fearful hush in 2006, when he became the first person to perform a double back-flip in a motorcycle in competition. That was said to be a do-or-die maneuver, but Pastrana nailed it and decided to progress the sport to new heights.
While the trick may have unraveled him for now, it's premature to say he's dumped it entirely. Pastrana still plans on mastering the move. And his X Games assault is far from over. Pastrana will be competing in four other categories, including Thursday's Moto X freestyle.
Motocross legend Travis Pastrana pulled out of the Moto X Best Trick competition Wednesday, one day before competition at X Games 16 begins.
The star of MTV's Nitro Circus was planning to attempt the same move he failed to land at last year's games: the 720 toilet paper roll. But a poor performance during his practice session this morning convinced him it was best for him to pull out.
After nailing the move 3 of 5 times a few days ago, he went zero for five in his latest attempts. "I'm just not comfortable with those odds," he said. "Especially when I'm still recovering from last year's hard landing...I still can't sit right since the crash."
Pastrana will still be plenty busy this week, with Speed and Style and two rally car competitions on his plate.
He's hardly the only X Games star to make a last minute exit. BMX star Dave Mirra has pulled out of the Park competition due to soreness in his back. Mirra gave it a shot in practice on Tuesday, but wasn't feeling it. Mirra will also be competing in both rally car disciplines at this years X Games.
Photo courtesy of Shazamm/ESPN images
Feast your eyes on part two of Todd Richards trip to Tavarua, Fiji with tons of his friends that are much more famous than he is such as Sal Masaleka, Travis Pastrana, and JP Walker.
In this Todcast, the crew gathers round a ping pong table and Todd is introduced to the widely acclaimed game of "sting pong".
Sting pong basically consists of a round-a-bout group game of beer...I mean, ping pong...however, if you miss the ball there are consequences.
Guess you just have to watch the video to find out what those consequences are. Let's just say this game will leave a mark.
Check back in with GrindTV or Quiksilver to watch the third and final video from their trip.
Click HERE to watch part one.
First of all, Todd Richards is a little liar due to his twitter posting a few hours ago saying that Part One of his Tavarua Todcast was posted on the Quiksilver site. I, of course, got giddy and hopped over to the website. To my dismay, it was not there.
Todd finally corrected himself and got the Todcast posted a couple hours later and re-twittered (is that a word?) that it was actually up. What is this? Amateur hour? Don't do that Todd. I can't handle all these emotional highs and lows!
Anyway, Todd, Nixon and company (Travis Pastrana, Transworld Surf's Chris Cote, Bruce Irons, JP Walker, Iikka Backstrom, and THE Sal Masaleka) took over Tavarua, Fiji for a bit (ten days to be precise).
Part one shows us basically that A) Todd continuously, hilariously and predictably talks shit to everyone B) The crew shreds a mini ramp and plays tennis in the middle of the jungle C) The surf was pretty much ideal. D) Tavarua, Fiji is pretty much paradise.
Stay tuned for Part Two of Todd's trip.