Travis Pastrana and crew deliver astonishing night of first-ever stunts
2011 Nitro Circus Live
By Pete Thomas
Action sports athletes and fans might still be wondering if what happened Saturday night in Las Vegas really happened, were it not for video evidence released Monday, showing innovative stunts that included the first-ever synchronized double back-flip by freestyle motocross stars Travis Pastrana and Cam Sinclair (photo).
Some might argue, convincingly, that the Nitro Circus Live event at the MGM Grand was the craziest single-day exhibition in action sports history, in terms of difficult and sometimes zany performances.
Pastrana fans, of course, remember vividly the night he brought an X Games crowd to a fearful hush in 2006, when he pioneered the double back-flip. It remains one of the heaviest tricks in action sports, in terms of consequences, and nearly claimed Sinclair’s life after he endured a wicked crash in 2009. “I have always dreamed of doing this trick side-by-side with Travis and tonight that dream came true,” Sinclair said from Las Vegas.
Another marquee performance belonged to skateboarder Bob Burnquist, a big-air specialist who nailed the first-ever “Christ Air” back flip after launching from the “Giganta ramp.” For a visual description of the seemingly impossible maneuver, watch the video.
Also noteworthy was the effort of BMX star Andy Buckworth, who stuck what’s called a Superman double front flip; and that of local wheelchair athlete Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham, who stuck a wheelchair front flip before his hometown fans.
Then there were the many athletes who fell just short while trying to progress their sports. Perhaps most notable in this group was BMX star James Foster, who spun a nearly perfect triple back flip, but fell upon landing.
The most touching moment, of course, involved Pastrana, who kicked off the night by falling to one knee and proposing to pro skateboarder Lyn-z Adams Hawkins in front of an electrified audience.
“I wasn’t supposed to do this until the end of the show, but I was so nervous I couldn’t wait,” Pastrana said. “This is a night of world-first stunts, and this stunt involves the rest of my life.”
Pastrana, of course, stars in MTV’s Nitro Circus television series. The Nitro Circus Live event marked the North American debut of a new tour that also features stops in Europe. Footage from tour events will be used to produce a 3D movie.
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