FOZ DO IGUAÇU, Brazil -- Brazilian teenager Pedro Barros won his third X Games Skateboard Park gold medal in four years Saturday in front of a raucous home crowd, turning a complex concrete course into his personal playground.
Barros, 18, skated faster and higher than anyone else in the field -- as has become his trademark over the past few years. Upon clinching gold when silver medalist Rune Glifberg failed to earn the 44-point score that would have tied Barros, Barros punched his board a few times then grabbed a Brazilian flag and waved it in front of the packed bleachers.
"It's amazing, it's what I wanted," he said. "At home, give this to the crowd."
At that, Barros exclaimed in Portuguese into a microphone, "Brazil deserves gold!" and the fans erupted.
Deploying a smoothly linked array of tricks including Melon 540s, kickflip Indy 540s and long 5-0 grinds, Barros finished with a two-run score of 83 points, seven better than Glifberg. Glifberg, a Danish skater who won the day's first qualifying heat and is one of just four athletes to compete at all 19 summer X Games, looked more like the skater who won gold in 2008 and 2009 than a 38-year-old. He captured a medal in Park for the second straight year, following his bronze in Los Angeles last summer.
Ben Hatchell claimed bronze, while Andy Macdonald, 39, another member of the longest tenured X Games quartet, finished just off the podium in fourth.
Barros, the youngest athlete in the field, now has medaled in all four of his X Games appearances. "Just winning an X Games already by itself is amazing," he said, "and being able to win it here in Brazil at the first global X Games, with the crowd …" He paused. "[I was] just treating it like it was the last day on earth. I was super stoked and I think the Brazilian crowd deserved it."
Barros' gold is the third victory by a Brazilian at X Games Foz, following Leticia Bufoni's Skateboard Street gold earlier on Saturday and Bob Burnquist's Skateboard Big Air win Thursday night.