Saturday, August 02, 2008

Jim DeChamp

Here's what the LATimes reported about Jim DeChamp's forward flip attempt at the X Games:

DeChamp suffered a fractured vertebra when he bailed out in mid-flight and landed flat on his back at the bottom of the landing ramp, [Travis] Pastrana said. DeChamp lay still for a few minutes before walking off under his own power. What television viewers and those in attendance didn't see was DeChamp collapsing afterward in the athlete area.

"He said, 'Look, I've got to get up, I'm going to walk out of here,' " said Pastrana, who was by his side. "Then, he's like, 'cameras off?' I said, 'Yep,' and he just fell down and said, 'Take me to the hospital.' "

DeChamp would have completed the maneuver if he had stayed with the motorcycle, Pastrana said. However, DeChamp's inexperience at the X Games may have played a part in his indecisiveness.

"He just said it felt like everything was in slow motion, and it felt like he was in the air for eight seconds," Pastrana said. That made DeChamp feel like he was closer to the ground than he actually was, Pastrana said, and DeChamp was fearful of being crushed under the weight of his motorcycle.

"It's amazing, adrenaline slows everything down," Pastrana said.

Some thought DeChamp bailed out because he appeared to have overshot the landing ramp. In actuality, that was part of the plan, Pastrana said.

"If he landed at the bottom, he had a better chance of getting the rotation. He was perfect, but he thought he wasn't," Pastrana said.

Pastrana had the same sensation during his double back flip, only he had time between rotations to spot his landing. The front flip doesn't offer riders a sneak peak. "That second rotation was the longest second of my entire life," Pastrana said. "I can remember the crowd, I can remember everything."

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