America’s Paul Rodriguez, commonly known as P-Rod among his fans and peers, collected his fourth Skateboard Street gold medal at X Games after putting on a superb performance to claim victory in the Final that went down at the Event Deck at L.A. Live on Sunday, July 1.
America’s Ryan Sheckler finished just behind Rodriguez in second place to clinch silver medal, while the last remaining spot on the podium was also secured by an American, Nyjah Huston, consequently allowing him to walk away with the bronze medal.
The line-up for Skateboard Street Final comprised of a handful of extremely talented skaters, all of whom were expected to push the limits to try and get their hands on victory. Performing at what is considered to be the greatest stage of action sports and getting hands on the coveted X Games medals was something that these athletes had been preparing for the past year.
Prior to the Final, Huston was being considered as the heavy favourite. The 17-year-old sensation had topped the podium at last year’s X Games Skateboard Street event and recently collected a series of Street victories to establish himself as a formidable force to be reckoned with.
P-Rod, however, had looked pretty solid during the qualifiers and continued to make waves in the Final on Sunday. He dominated the course during his best run, which featured technical switch tricks such as a switch front-side blunt-slide, switch kick-flip front-side board-slide and a switch 360 flip down the stair set, though not in this particular order. The effort earned him his best score of 86.00, which held up until the end to see him through to victory.
“It’s always a blessing, and any win feels good,” P-Rod said after the win, “but I’ve got my little girl Heaven in the crowd and, oh man, I feel great to be able to win in front of her. I’m blessed. Thank you so much, God. Thank you, everybody.”
Sheckler, three-time X Games gold medallist, was nothing short of impressive during the Final either. A kick-flip over the roof gap, a tweaked front-side air over the hip, a blunt-slide, a backside tail-slide, a front-side rail transfer and a backside 360 Ollie off the dinosaur sculpture in his fourth and final run earned him a score of 85.33, which proved good enough to earn him the silver medal.
Huston looked pretty strong during the final, but failed to successfully defend his place on top of the podium after finishing having to settle for a score of 85.00 off his best run, which included a 360 flip to front-side board-slide and a huge kick-flip back-side nose-blunt slide down the rail.
The 18-year-old Ortiz finished in fourth place after scoring an 82.66 off his best run, while Canada’s Ryan Decenzo and Puerto Rico-born Manny Santiago rounded out the bottom-two positions after earning an 82.33 and 71.00 off their best run.