Pastrana Pulls It Off

UPDATE: See it here.

Only six years after the first motocross backflip in competition, Travis Pastrana just - as in, a few minutes ago - performed a double backflip in the X Games at the Staples Center in L.A., winning Moto X Best Trick and the adoration of adrenaline junkies everywhere.

"It's not the Mountain Dew trick of the day... it's the Mountain Dew Trick of the Millenium!" gushed rabidly excited ESPN announcer Sal Masakela. "This is the greatest moment that I've ever witnessed in the history of X Games!"

And it's only Night 2.

After he crashed on a backflip attempt in the 2nd elimination round of the 2000 X Games, Travis' mother, Debby Pastrana, said he was "grounded for life." (He was 16 at the time.) She was in the stands tonight when he pulled off the double, and was down in the pit hugging his neck afterwards. The ESPN cameras caught him saying to her, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Mom. Thank you for supporting me." After the hug, she looked up at the roof of the arena and said, "Thank you God."

Said his father Robert in 2001, when Travis suffered a concussion and his future in the sport seemed uncertain:

Every time Travis pulls up to a pro starting line I get gut-wrenching pains in my lower chest and a desire to get my son as far away from this sport as possible.

My son is only 17, but he is a seasoned warrior. When I was Travis' age I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Because I was only 17, my parents had to sign for me. It was 1967 and Vietnam was in full swing. My dad called me a "damn fool" and my mom cried, but they both signed.

My money says Travis will make the call - I'll call him a damn fool and his mom will cry, and he will go on to take his place among those motocross legends who never let pain or common sense ruin a perfectly good Sunday.

How hard is a double backflip? Watch some of Travis' early attempts. Or watch Mike Metzger do a single flip over the fountains at Caesar's Palace.

That's the same jump, minus the backflip, that made Evel Knievel famous in 1968 -- and landed him in the hospital in a coma. His son Robbie duplicated the jump in 1989 with better results.

Wherever the Knievels are tonight, they're high-fiving Pastrana for sure.

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