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Salad Days Magazine | April 9, 2020

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Monster Energy’s Sam Beckett takes gold in Skateboard Vert at X Games Austin 2016

Monster Energy’s Sam Beckett takes gold in Skateboard Vert at X Games Austin 2016
Salad Days

Earns his 1st gold and 5th career X Games Medal; makes history as first UK-Skater to win X Games gold.

AUSTIN, Texas – Monster Energy congratulates team rider Sam Beckett on his spectacular gold-medal victory today at X Games Austin 2016. In front of the energetic crowd at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), the 24-year old from Norwich, UK, made history with two X Games firsts: winning his first X Games gold medal, and also being the first skateboarder from the United Kingdom to take the top spot at an X Games event.

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Battling warm temperatures and humidity, Beckett prevailed against the world’s top vert skateboarders in a hotly contested final on the 60-feet-wide halfpipe with 11.5-foot transitions and two feet of vert. Despite fierce competition from japanese rookie Moto Shibata and 2014 X Games Skateboard Vert gold medalist Jimmy Wilkins, Beckett secured the win on his flawless second run that earned an 89.33 point score.

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Delivered in signature effortless-yet-powerful style, Beckett’s winning run included standout moves such as huge backside 540 tailgrab, back-to-back kickflip backside and kickflip indy airs, big backside 540 air followed by indy 540, backside kickflip nosegrab, high-flying frontside nosebone and slob airs, backside 360 air to fakie, and a highly technical backside 360 ollie to rock slide across the entire wall as the exclamation point for the win.

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“I had been battling some injuries and only really started feeling good once we got here for practice. So it was quite a surprise that it happened, I was super happy it all worked out,” said Beckett upon winning his first X Games Gold. “I’m also stoked to be up there with Jimmy and Moto, they are the best people to be on the podium with.”

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As a young amateur, Beckett first turned heads by winning back-to-back silver medals at X Games 2008 and 2009. That same year, he became the first skater from the UK to land a 720 on vert. At last year’s X Games Austin, the young rookie made his presence known in the pro ranks by winning bronze in both the Vert and Vert Best Trick events. As a side note: today’s top three finalists were the youngest since 1995.

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Last year’s winner, Beckett’s Monster Energy teammate Pierre Luc Gagnon was sidelined by an injury right before the finals and was unable to defend his title. The canadian still boasts an incredible track record of 21 X Games medals (9 gold, 10 silver, 2 bronze) and will be back for more. Stay tuned for more Monster Energy skateboarders at X Games Austin 2016, including Jake Brown, Trey Wood, and 2014 Big Air champion Tom Schaar competing for the podium on the Mega Ramp.

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