Travis Pastrana may not be able to walk, but he can shoot just fine. The multisport superstar proved it this past Saturday by finishing 11th in the Big Buck World Championships 2011 at the Cubby Bear bar in Chicago despite the presence of a hands-free crutch strapped to his right leg while he fired away at the virtual wildlife.
Pastrana underwent surgery in August after an attempted freestyle motocross trick at the X Games went bad and led to a shattered ankle. He’s had to wear a knee-high cast ever since.
“My foot feels crazy right now, like it’s going to explode out of my cast,” said Pastrana shortly after being eliminated from the tournament.
Passing the Big Buck
Bad wheel or not, it looked for awhile as if Pastrana might sneak his way into the finals. He began the day as the 12th seed in the Eastern Region in the 64-person, double-elimination tournament and squeaked by with a 380-point victory over the fifth-seeded player. In the second round, the crowd gasped as Pastrana pulled out a stunning 18-point win by shooting more flying pumpkins in the final bonus round than his opponent.
He then overcame a loss to top seed Alex Derhohannesian to win two more times in the “reload” bracket. But against Australian Brenton Garrity, even Pastrana’s spirited cry of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” that got excited spectators taking up the chant wasn’t quite enough to get him
back to the round of 8. Pastrana admitted afterwards that he was a bit nervous about the match.
“I’m never nervous about losing, it’s nervous about playing the best you can. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing ping-pong, badminton, or racing for a national championship -- you wanna do the best you can,” he said. “The greats did it because they hated losing. I love to compete and I love Big Buck because its competition.”
He still called the entire weekend “one of the most exciting weeks of my life.”
An Amazing Trip
Pastrana fell short of adding another trophy to his crowded case, but he still called the entire weekend “one of the most exciting weeks of my life.”
He travelled from Maryland to the tournament in Chicago road trip style on a Red Bull bus and a rented RV packed with 25 people. His crew included Olympic snowboarding medalist and X Games competitor Scotty Lago, Tommy “Streetbike” Passemante and other members of “Team Whiskey Throttle” who also qualified for the Big Buck Championship.
Along the way, Pastrana and company stopped by a Home Depot and bought two-by-six boards, power tools and nails and constructed a mounted seat in the bus so they could sit down inside the bus and practice on a Big Buck machine they’d brought along for the road.
“If you stood up and tried to play while we were moving, you’d die,” said Pastrana. “So we made this thing and had it perfectly at eye level. It worked really well.”
Pastrana, who is getting married next month also considered the week a bachelor party of sorts and brought along his fiancée for the fun.
“It was great to have the bachelorette along for the bachelor party, and I had my good friends with me and good competition with Big Buck. It was an amazing trip.”
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