Jackson Strong considers this his first X Games. He participated in it last year, but he was knocked out during an event and can’t really remember anything afterward.
But after he pulled off the first front flip in the history of the Moto X best trick contest Thursday, helping win him the gold medal, he’ll have plenty of good memories going forward.
Strong said he has been working on that trick for about three years and he imagines it will only be topped in the future.
“One day somebody is probably going to be doing a double front flip on a dirt bike,” Strong said. “I hope I’m not around when that happens.”
Strong’s score of 95.66 was enough for him to edge Cameron Sinclair (94.66) and Josh Sheehan (93.33). All three medalists in the event are Australians.
“We’ve all been looking up to the Americans and have been chasing them forever,” Sheehan said. “We’ve been trying so hard and a lot of effort paid off, finally.”
A scary moment occurred early in the event when action sports star Travis Pastrana attempted to flip and spin his dirt bike 720 degrees in the air, a trick he calls a “Toilet Paper Roll.”
It’s a trick Pastrana has tried numerous times to land but had never accomplished. He didn’t make it Thursday, either, and crash-landed on the dirt ramp. He had to be helped off the track and was later seen on a stretcher.
X-rays later revealed Pastrana suffered a broken right foot and ankle in the crash. It’s unclear if he’ll be able to participate in Moto X Freestyle on Friday night or in Sunday’s Rally Car RallyCross event.
“I spent the last week at his place and, spending time with him and his trainer, I realized how much time and effort he’s put into that trick,” Sheehan said. “I’m really bummed for him because he had it so close.”