The blistering sun glared off the unprotected skin of thousands of fans, as they marveled at events that were on display on Day Two of the X Games.
Friday got underway with Jamie Bestwick vying for his 10th-straight gold medal in the BMX Vert.
Unfortunately, for Bestwick, Vince Byron was looking to add to his X Games medals collection. Byron snatched the gold medal from Bestwick, in part due to Byron landing a 540 flair in the first round, a trick that had never been accomplished in X Games history.
In what was the ultimate show of sportsmanship, Bestwick put the gold medal on Byron, marking the passing of the torch.
“I knew Jamie [Bestwick] was still going to bring the heat and he wasn’t going to go down without a fight,” Byron said after receiving his first X Games gold medal. “To put it all together is my dream, it’s what I’ve been working toward all year.”
Immediately after the BMX Vert was the Skateboard Vert.
Pierre-Luc Gagnon dominated the event. Gagnon was in first place going into the three run final, and he won the gold after leading wire-to-wire throughout the entire final.
“Skateboarding is an art form to me,” Gagnon said. “It’s not just about the competition and tricks, it’s been my passion my whole life.”
With the victory, Gagnon has now received seven gold medals, and it’s his first gold medal in the Skateboard Vert since 2012.
The Toyota BMX Park final was extremely tight and highly competitive. Daniel Sandoval emerged victorious from the field of seven. Sandoval nailed a front-flip flair in his final run to dethrone seven-time X Games medalist Dennis Enarson.
“I kind of focused on every trick, one by one. I tried not to focus on the trick before, I think that’s what helped me a lot on the speed. Pretty much it was my adrenaline that was helping me a lot,” Sandoval said.
Friday’s main event, America’s Navy Skateboard Big Air, completed a day of competition.
Defending gold medalist Tom Schaar looked to repeat his performance from last year. Schaar landed a slow-spinning 720 over the gap to a 900 on the quarterpipe.
The 15-year-old was knocked from silver position to bronze when Elliot Sloan nailed an Indy 7 to an enormous tailgrab 900 21.2 feet above the quarterpipe to overtake the silver position.
“That’s the best run I could do and that’s the run I wanted to do so I’m stoked,” Sloan said.
Bob Burnquist received the gold medal in the event, in part due to him nailing a switch 540 over the gap into an Indy 700 landing fakie on the quarterpipe. The stunt gave him and early lead and also gave him the highest score of the night with a 93.33.
The X Games continue tomorrow with five more events.