2 years after brutal fall, Brown gets X Games gold

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jake Brown finally has something else to talk about.
The skateboarder whose grisly, 40-foot fall to the floor of the X Games mega ramp two years ago drew
gasps and became a viral video sensation, won gold Thursday night in the same Skateboard Big Air
competition at Staples Center.
"Feels great I guess," Brown said.
The 34-year-old Australian earned a 94 on the third of his five runs with a backside 360 over the mega
ramp’s gap into a 20-foot-high McTwist over the half-pipe for his first X Games gold.
Brown’s 2007 spill knocked him unconscious and left him with a broken wrist, a cracked vertebra and a
bruised lung.
It was six months before he got back on a skateboard, but when asked how long it took him to get his
confidence back Brown said "probably about a day."
Despite the near-death experience, he was the first to roll down the ramp last year.
Two-time defending champion Bob Burnquist of Rio de Janeiro, who made his winning run in 2007 just after
watching Brown’s slam, managed to tie Brown’s winning score on Friday, but Brown had a better second
"I remember when he went down like that I could see him coming right back out," said Burnquist,
whose backyard mega ramp Brown used to get back in skating shape. "His type of skateboarding and
his type of personality was just perfect to erase that and keep going. Now he’s sitting here with a gold
medal. That’s insane."
Rob Lorifice of Encinitas, Calif., won bronze.
The competition had its usual spills but nothing close to Brown’s fall or last year’s pair of crashes
from mega ramp creator Danny Way that sent him to the hospital for several days.
"That was the best part of the whole contest," Lorifice said, "that we’re all sitting here
and talking and no one’s in the hospital."