Pedro Barros and Ben Hatchell were knotted at 83.00 going into the final run. Barros had recorded first and second runs of 41 and 42; Hatchell: 43 and 40. The math was simple. Barros had to notch at least a 42, and Hatchell had to better his 40 -- a slightly easlier task.
But it was clear leading up to the final skaters that nothing is easy under X Games pressure. Andy MacDonald, Ben Raybouen and Kevin Kowalski all fell, as the contest reached Barros. The 17-year-old Brazilian came out immediately with the kind of power, speed and massive air that earned him major bowl wins this year in Australia, Florentino, Brazil and Orange, California.
He was also flawless, even with an injured knee. And when Ben Hatchell fell early in his final run, Barros could raise his arms in triumph. At 17, he had won his second gold medal in Skateboard Park.
"It was just an amazing finals and to get the score on the last run, I was psyched," Barros told ESPN. "It was crazy because Ben got a crazy-good score right in the start of it and he was killing it. … I was just trying to work something out to use the whole park, try different lines, and make it look like I was riding a bowl. I made it work in the end."
The question coming into the finals was whether or not Barros, with the injury, could find the kind of speed and power that we're used to seeing from the top bowl skater in the world right now. But the Red Bull pro quelched all doubt in his final run and capped the flawless performance with a ride up a wall emblazed with the Red Bull logo.
"I got to the finals and it was hurting a lot, and I was just like, 'I'm going to skate as hard as I can and try to deal with the pain,'" Barros explained. "It was gnarly. Everyone was skating so good. Glifberg was skating the bowl like it was butter, and Hatchell was out there with his super tech tricks. It was just an amazing finals. To be able to get the win feels so good."