By John Boothe
The biggest trick in freestyle snowmobiling proved to be just as elusive as it was perilous on the final day of the X Games in Aspen, Colorado, on Sunday.
American rivals Colten Moore and Heath Frisby both launched attempts to stick the first double backflip in competition, but neither 500-pound sled found its intended landing after two rotations through the air on Buttermilk Mountain.
In the first of two harrowing attempts by the riders, Frisby had a good pull coming off the ramp, but an under-rotated second flip forced him to be thrown off the right side of his machine as it hit the snow.
Frisby, an 11-time X Games medalist, immediately walked away from his destroyed snowmobile but did not make a second run in the event.
The six-time X Games medalist Moore followed with a soaring attempt that had plenty of air but over-rotated on its landing, causing a hard impact on the ramp that buckled Moore's legs and left him injured on the ground. Medics rushed to attend Moore, who was taken away in an ambulance to Apple Valley Hospital.
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According to an ESPN report, Moore was suffering from lower back pain. The X Games released a statement later on Sunday that said Moore was taken to "another facility for treatment and evaluation."
This was the first time the best-trick event has been included in the X Games since 2013, when Moore's brother Caleb died a week after crashing on the same course. Following his brother's crash, Colten suffered a separated pelvis in his run at the event.
Moore's and Frisby's attempts at landing a double backflip in competition came a week after Sweden's Daniel Bodin became the first-ever person to nail the trick.
Bodin landed his double backflip while practicing in his home country, and he did not attempt it again at the X Games after tweaking his shoulder and knee.
Instead, Bodin won his third best-trick gold medal with an indy seat-grab backflip on his second run.
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"I have no words, I missed the first trick and I was so nervous after seeing my friends getting hurt," Bodin said. "I'm so glad they seemed OK. … I want to thank my sponsors, family, my girlfriend and everyone who believed in me. I don't have any more words, I'm just so happy."
Brett Turcotte took silver with a whip in his second run, and Joe Parsons finished with the bronze to close the four-day X Games.
After Two Attempts, Snowmobile Double Backflip Stays Unconquered At X Games
By John Boothe