White wins first skate comp post-Olys
PORTLAND, Ore. -- With his finish in Sunday's skateboard vert final at the Dew Tour's Wendy's Invitational, Shaun White is winning on wheels again.
For the 23-year-old, two-time Olympic gold medalist and former summer and winter Dew Cup champion, the win marks his first skateboard vert win since his return to skateboarding post-Vancouver.
White pulled off his signature move -- the Armadillo, or a frontside heel flip body varial 540 -- to finish in front of Bucky Lasek and 2010 X Games 16 gold medalist Pierre-Luc Gagnon. Upon landing, White threw his hands up in victory before completing his run. Then he raised his board up over his head to the cheers of the crowd at the Rose Garden.
The public address announcer called it "the most amazing skateboarding run in history."
The competitive rivalry between White and Gagnon came to a head going into the final jam session, with White sitting in first place and Gagnon nipping at his heels in second. Utilizing his aggressive skating and on-point landings, White maintained the lead and topped the podium with a 93.50. After falling on his first two runs, White was rock solid in his third and winning run, throwing out a huge frontside fakie 540 to 540 cab and his new signature trick the Armadillo -- a frontside heel flip body varial 540. Lasek, 37, placed second with a 91.50 and Gagnon, 30, finished in third place with a 90.00.
White, a 2007 Dew Cup champion, has been looking to regain his skateboarding form after taking last season off because of an injury and his preparation for the Olympics.
"I knew I had to do a heavy-heavy combination and I nailed it," White said afterward. "I wanted to show that I've got it down."
White was the first person to medal in both the summer and winter X Games. He has won three gold medals on the Dew Tour, but none since 2008.
Last season, in addition to training for the Olympics, White was dealing with a bone chip in his ankle that prevented him from competitive skateboarding. The injury flared up on him again this year, keeping him from participating in the first Dew Tour stop in Boston.
White said Sunday he'll compete in the Dew Tour's Salt Lake City stop next month before the championships in Las Vegas in October.
"I want to show these guys I'm not going anywhere," White said, gesturing to the fans.
White was asked by one fan whether his next trick will be the mythical 1080. He laughed -- but didn't rule it out.
"It's not really a trick you put in a run," he said. "If you land it, you go in the history books."
In other Dew Tour events, Paul Rodriguez won Saturday's skate park finals, his first Dew Tour victory since 2008. Rodriguez bested tour standings leader Greg Lutzka.
On Friday, Target announced its sponsorship of Rodriguez, who is a three-time X Games gold medalist.
England's Jamie Bestwick, a seven-time X Games champion, won BMX vert on Saturday, while Brett Banasiewicz won in BMX dirt.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.