Jackson "Jacko" Strong has become the first Australian to win back-to-back gold medals in the X-Games Moto Best Trick category.
Strong created history in 2011, when he landed the first ever front-flip in competition. Twelve months on and he has done it again, this time with his never before seen body varial “The Jack”
He originally had planned to unveil it at the inaugural Crusty Demons Cup, but it was canceled due to poor weather conditions. He managed to keep the details of the trick a secret until Friday's finals. He landed it in his first attempt, beating out Japanese rider Taka Higashino's Rock Solid backflip to one-handed landing and Australian rider Cameron Sinclair's double backflip.
"It was great to finally roll out the new trick," Strong said. "It has been six months in the making and to be honest, it is quite a scary one to put down. I didn't want to just be known for the front flip so I went out and learned something totally new," Strong said after winning the competition.
Strong originally was calling the trick the "Bulletproof Tiger" but changed the name this week to the "Jack." I named it the 'Jack' because I think in years to come, when it starts to get thrown out in freestyle runs, people are going to be able to combo off it," Strong said. "I'm just stoked, for real, to get another gold medal."
"There was a lot of work go into perfecting this jump. I did a weeks circus school training to learn the various techniques required for the off bike movement and countless hours in the foam pit.
"I wasn't going to do X Games this year without the new variation, but I got the invite and I thought, 'Well, I've got the double flip, some other people might make mistakes ...' and it ended me up on the box again," Sinclair said. "I didn't think that was going to happen, because of the progression of the tricks these days."
Strong endured a tumultuous lead-up to this weekend's X-Games 18. His best mate Luke Stojanovic was seriously injured in a horrific practice crash and a delay in processing his passport at US Consulate in Sydney meant he only arrived in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Strong appeared completely confident, going into his first run without a jersey and without some of his usual upper-body armor. The night was full of big tricks and big firsts. Higashino broke out a new variation of the Rock Solid backflip he unveiled Thursday on his way to winning Moto X Freestyle gold. Higashino wasn't immediately available for comment after the event Friday; after winning the silver medal, he broke out a diamond, proposing to his girlfriend on the spot. (She said yes.)
Sinclair landed a clean double backflip on his first run, a trick that has brought him both triumph and tragedy over the past few years. He originally had planned to bring a no-handed variation of the double to the Best Trick contest, but he had been under-rotating it in practice over his foam pit and, with his wife six months pregnant, opted out of trying it in his second run.
View the amazing "Jack" here