Earns His 21st Career and 9th Gold X Games Medal; Monster Teammate Sam Beckett wins Bronze
AUSTIN, Texas – (June 5, 2015) – Monster Energy congratulates team rider Pierre Luc Gagnon (PLG) on his dominating Gold medal victory today at X Games Austin 2015. In front of a roaring crowd at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), PLG bagged an incredible 21st X Games career medal – his 9th Gold overall, and 7th Goldj in the Vert competition – under the blazing Texas sun.
In a hotly contested final on the outdoor vert ramp, with temperatures exceeding 93 degrees Fahrenheit, PLG kept his cool and stacked together a highly difficult routine on his second run for a 92.33 point final score. Coming in hot off a recent win at the KIA World Extreme Games, PLG impressed the judges panel of vert skateboarding legends with a run covering all angles of the 13 feet, 6 inches-high and 38-feet wide halfpipe. PLG’s standout moves included varial kickflip mute to fakie into an extremely difficult switch heel flip frontside 360, huge backside and body varial 540s, alley-oop kickflip mute, a highly technical overturned 180 to switch feeble on the lip, and a contest-winning nollie heelflip Indy 360. Having secured his lead early on with a perfect first run, PLG’s top score saw him finishing six points ahead of his next competitor, England’s Paul-Luc Ronchetti.
“Stoked to be back in Austin and feeling great after last year’s injury,” said PLG. I couldn’t have hoped for a better turnout in this year’s event. Thank you Monster for all the support.” For the biggest surprise of the Vert event, PLG’s Monster teammate Sam Beckett swooped into 3rd place on his final attempt after losing his grip on both earlier runs. The two-time X Games Silver medallist from Norfolk, England, served up a perfect run featuring a trio of high-flying 540s – mute, tail grab, and alley-oop nose grab – next to a heel flip Indy, kickflip mute, and head-high kickflip body jar, on which he missed his tail, but miraculously still rode away clean.
Today’s 1st place finish marks PLG’s return to the top spot, after missing the podium in 2014 and earning two Silver medals in 2013 amidst fighting through knee and hip injuries. At last year’s X Games in Austin, Beckett also came up empty-handed on an injured ankle.
No stranger to X Games wins, PLG earned his first Gold medal at the 2002 Philadelphia X Games at the age of 22, and made history with the first-ever X Games Vert gold three-peat from 2008 to 2010. Chalking up 21 medals thus far—nine Gold, ten Silver, and two Bronze—PLG is a seasoned X Games veteran and remains an innovator constantly pushing the boundaries of technical vert skating beyond the contest arena.
Stay tuned for more Monster Energy skateboarders at X Games Austin 2015, including reigning Big Air champion Tom Schaar defending his title tonight on the Mega Ramp, and last year’s Skateboard Street winner Nyjah Huston facing the heat on Sunday.
For more on Monster Energy X Games Austin 2015 competing athletes including exclusive photos and daily recaps, check out http://www.monsterenergy.com, http://www.monsterenergy.com/facebook/ and #unleashedatx.