Bob Burnquist defends Skate Big Air title
BARCELONA, Spain -- Bob Burnquist has now won a total of 24 X Games medals after beating out Mitchie Brusco and Elliot Sloan in the Skateboard Big Air finals on Friday at X Games Barcelona. The win puts Burnquist even with BMX legend Dave Mirra and ahead of snowboarder and skateboarder Shaun White for the medal-total record.
Burnquist has competed in every X Games since they began in 1995, and has competed in all 11 Skateboard Big Air competitions since the event made its X Games debut, winning Big Air gold six times.
Brusco, 16, is having a very big week. He won bronze in Skateboard Vert on Thursday, thanks in part to landing his first 900 on a traditional vert ramp, then upped the stakes with his first 1080 on the MegaRamp quarterpipe to win silver on Friday.
Burnquist, 36, was the oldest athlete in the event and has mentored many of the younger competitors at his own backyard MegaRamp and on the contest circuit. "These kids are just amazing every year," he said. "I mean not just every year: Every month there's progression going on."
Burnquist led after the first section of the two-part competition with a Lien 720 rodeo over the gap, ahead of Elliot Sloan and 12-year-old sensation Tom Schaar, but he had his work cut out for him in the full-run portion of the event. Schaar landed a 900 on the quarterpipe, briefly bumping into the lead before Sloan overtook him, but Burnquist's switch backside 180 ollie over the gap and 720 Indy grab on the quarterpipe was enough to put him back in gold-medal position.
"Everyone's going for it, so I might as well go for it myself," Burnquist said, noting that he was inspired by seeing Schaar's 900 and watching Brusco land his 1080. "I just can't believe this kid did a 1080 like first try."
Added Brusco, "I figured there was no better place to do it than here. All the big stuff goes down at X Games."