Having not competed in any contest this year, Jamie Bestwick felt a bit nervous before the finals of the BMX Freestyle Vert on Saturday at Nokia Theatre.
So, to quell those nerves, Bestwick, who had won the event five consecutive years at the X Games, threw out a question to the other riders on his very first run.
“And the question was, ‘Who’s come to party tonight?’ Bestwick said. “So I threw one of my party tricks out there and I let everyone join me on the dance floor.”
That trick would be a down side, double-tail-whip flair, a move that won Bestwick a gold medal in BMX Best Trick in 2005.
“I haven’t seen that trick since that year,” said fellow rider Vince Byron, “and when I saw that on his first run, I was like, ‘Somebody wants this.’' "
Bestwick, 40, set the tone with that trick and dominated the competition, posting a final score of 86 to win BMX Freestyle Vert gold for the sixth consecutive year.
Byron and Simon Trabron each finished with a score of 72 but Byron won silver in a tiebreaker; Trabron took bronze.
Bestwick joins skateboarders Andy MacDonald and Tony Hawk, who won as a duo in the since-discontinued Vert Doubles event from 1997 to 2002, as the only athletes to pull off a six-peat.
“It’s a dream come true,” Bestwick said.
In 2006, Bestwick considered retiring from his sport because, he said, he wasn’t happy. But then he went back and found the fun in riding.
“It was a good decision that I didn’t hang up my boots,” said Bestwick, who took up BMX riding after working at a repair company as an aerospace inspector on compression engine blades meant for commercial planes.