Brazilian skateboarder Pedro Barros injured his knee Friday during a practice run for the Skateboard Park event. He still managed to pull off the best run in the finals a day later to narrowly beat Ben Hatchell to take the X Games gold medal.
In the finals, Hatchell had the higher score heading into the last run. He converted an impressive string of moves, including a front side inverted 540, a 360 over the main gap of the course and a fakie ollie into a nosegrind.
But the explosiveness and air Barros showed on his final run impressed the judges even more. He overtook Hatchell’s high score by one point in the final moments to clinch the victory as Hatchell was unable to get another run before time expired.
Denmark’s Rune Glifberg, a two-time winner of Skateboard Park, finished third in an event that he said was as competitive as it has ever been.
“I think every year gets better,” Glifberg said. “It keeps progressing and that’s skateboarding. We probably never would have thought of the stuff we’re doing today 10 years ago.”
Barros, who claimed gold for the second time to go along with a silver in 2011, said he injured his left knee when he smacked it on a set of stairs on the middle of the course.
He said there was no serious damage, but that it had become swollen and limited his mobility.
Hatchell was the top qualifier heading into the finals. He would have won his first gold in the event if Barros hadn’t decided to give it a go.
“When I hit, I thought I wouldn’t be able to skate [Saturday],” Pedro said. “But when you like skateboarding so much and you feel so comfortable doing it, the adrenaline from everybody skating together makes [the pain] all go away.”