AUSTIN, Texas -- Nate Adams, the most decorated motocross competitor at X Games, pulled out of X Games Austin on Tuesday following a recent head injury.
"Four weeks ago I had a little crash and hit my head pretty good," he told XGames.com. "It wasn't that bad of a crash and I didn't think much of it at the time, but my first time back on the bike after that I crashed again, for no real reason, slapped the same side of my head in the exact same spot, and that was it."
Adams said he failed a concussion test with his doctor after that. He visited his doctor four times to retake the baseline evaluation test in the weeks before X Games before making the decision not to compete.
"I failed it again every week after that for the next four weeks, with my reaction time and hand-eye coordination way down," Adams said.
Adams, 30, has been an X Games competitor since 2001. He has a total of 18 X Games medals -- four of them gold -- including Speed & Style gold at X Games Los Angeles 2013.
"My doctor said if I hit my head again, even just a minor hit, I could be fine, or it could be really bad," Adams said. "It's that unknown that's really scary. I haven't missed a summer X Games since I was 17, so it's a tough decision, but this time I had to make a 30-year-old decision and not a 17-year-old decision."
Adams was scheduled to compete this week in Austin in both Moto X Freestyle and Moto X Speed & Style. Czech rider Libor Podmol will take his place as an alternate in the Freestyle event, and Kris Foster is now in as an alternate for Speed & Style.
"I'm just trying to keep myself healthy so I can come back next year," Adams said. "I'm up to about my fifth career comeback or so, so don't write me off yet."