X Games: Freestyle Finals
Mark a first for the land of the rising Sun!
ESPN X Games Los Angeles 2012
Jana Bond’s Medal Minutia, Photos: Scott Hoffman
The X Games are baaaaaack for their 18th year. First event we will be talking about is Moto X Freestyle. Ten dudes in the finals tossing their bodies and their bikes around in ways you wouldn’t think possible. Nate Adams, no stranger to X Games, was back to compete after a 10-month recovery period from an accident and ended up 4th. Also back for more fun and games was Todd Potter who had half of the Staples Center wearing his signature mustache to show their support. Even the Wayne Gretzky statue out in front of the Staples Center had been tagged with the ‘stache.’ But the hairy-upper-lip-sporting rider was a hair off and didn’t finish on the podium in this event.
Let’s face it, when it comes to Freestyle, I’m no expert. Hell, I’m no expert on anything except crackin’ wise. So let’s review the very important things I observed at this event. Gold Medal winner Taka Higashino. He came out to win and win he did. Taka bout impressive. He was the Taka the town. Taka the morning to ya. Hell, he was so good Taka the noon and evenin’ to ya as well. Taka Khan, and did, sweep both runs to Taka the Gold medal. I don’t know what I liked best about Taka besides all the fun I just had with his name (I hope he doesn’t Taka fence to that). It’s a tie between the quote on the buttocks of his leathers “Wax on, Wax off” and the victory lap he ran around the floor of the arena after seeing he had clenched the Gold up on the Jumbotron.
Next we’ll move on to Silver Medal man Levi Sherwood. This young Kiwi could be a gymnast the way he was contorting that little body around. Was he riding a bike or was it a flying pommel horse jumping those gaps? On his first floor exercise he stalled the bike after nailing a sweet trick. Did that slow the lad down? You Sherwood think so but he saw the Sherwood forest through the trees and kick-started his machine and pulled out a fancy combo. The thing I think really won him his Silver Medal was not his mind-blowing tricks or his Gumby-like body movements. No, I do believe it was the little dance he did after the horn went off signaling that his run was over. He rode his bike to the top of the landing and threw it down and then threw down a sweet little jig waving his hands to and fro around his head and prancing from leg to leg while twirling around like a whirling dervish. He won the heart of this fan.
And last, on to Javier Villegas for the Bronze Medal. Javier is from Chile and there is nothing miner (typo intended) about him. I’m sure I’m not the first to call him Javi-Air since he hung up in the air forever and his body stayed extended on his tricks for a great length of time. The announcers described his tricks as “big” and “long.” Hmm, no wonder all the ladies were cheering.
X Games Los Angeles 2012 – Moto X Freestyle Results
1. Taka Higashino
2. Levi Sherwood
3. Javier Villegas
4. Nate Adams
5. Blake “Bilko” Williams
6. Adam Jones
7. Rob Adelberg
8. Dany Torres
9. Todd Potter
10. Andre Villa
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