Lizzie Armanto wins Women's Skate Park
BARCELONA, Spain -- X Games rookie Lizzie Armanto won the X Games debut of Women's Skateboard Park on Saturday, beating out 12-year-old Alana Smith -- the youngest medalist in X Games history -- and X Games vert veteran Julz Lynn.
"I don't even know what to say," Armanto said, after taking a victory lap. "I'm all shaky and nervous. It's just crazy that I'm here in the first place."
Armanto's been ruling women's bowlriding on the World Cup Skateboarding circuit over the last three years and won her first vert contest in 2012. She has been one of the most prominent faces representing a new generation of women's skateboarding.
She was the top qualifier coming into finals in Barcelona, edging out Smith by one point in the first of two heats, and she came out strong in finals with fast skating and an experienced bowlrider's command of both technical lip tricks and stylish airs. But she said she's in awe of Smith and was honored to share the podium with her.
"Every time I see Alana I'm always super impressed because she'll pull like 20 tricks I've never even tried," Armanto said.
Smith came into finals with a singular focus, attempting McTwists in all but her first run, an all-in approach that left her in the silver medal position when she failed to land it. She was the first to land the McTwist in women's skateboarding competition at Exposure 2012 in November, an all-female event organized in an attempt to bring back women's vert competition.
"It was nerve-wracking," Smith said of the pressure to land the trick in Barcelona. "I wish I could have made it, but maybe next year."
Julz Lynn -- formerly Julie Kindstrand -- won bronze, her first medal after four previous appearances in Women's Skateboard Vert competition, bumping five-time X Games medalist Mimi Knoop off the podium and into fourth. Knoop is co-founder of The Alliance, a non-profit organization advocating on behalf of female action sports athletes that was instrumental in introducing Women's Skateboard Park to X Games this year.
Nora Vasconcellos finished fifth after knocking Leticia Bufoni, X Games Real Women judges' favorite winner and X Games Foz Women's Skateboard Street gold medalist, out of finals contention in the Heat 2 qualifier, and Allysha Bergado finished in sixth place.