J. Brown Recounts 40-Foot Plunge

Monday, August 6, 2007

Jake Brown didn't feel his shoes pop off.

"I was already knocked out," he said. "The last thing I remember was thinking, how do I fall?"

He didn't recall anything else until he walked off the mega ramp about 10 minutes later.

"Walking off the ramp, that was rough," he said.

At the X Games Skateboard Big Air competition in Carson, Calif., Thursday night, Brown was in the lead heading into his fifth and final run when he lost control during his second trick, sailed out away from the ramp's platform and plunged about 40 feet onto his heels and then tailbone. He bruised his lung and liver, broke a wrist and a vertebra, and had his sneakers knocked off.

He finished with a silver medal for the second straight year. Bob Burnquist made the winning run right on Brown's heels.

The TV and Internet video of the drop, which makes even hardened viewers flinch, has made Brown an instant celebrity. Brown lay still for five minutes, then began to stir. He somehow walked away about five minutes after that. . . .

Shaun White, the biggest celebrity at the X Games, won on the event's biggest stage by putting together a soaring, powerful final run that brought him his first gold in men's Skateboard Vert. The 20-year-old White, known as "The Flying Tomato" because of his bright red hair, had won six Winter X Games gold medals and an Olympic gold in Turin, Italy, last year. He finally captured the summer gold that had eluded him.

· TENNIS: Top-seeded Maria Sharapova earned her first title in 10 months with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 victory over Patty Schnyder in the Acura Classic tournament in Carlsbad, Calif.

· SOCCER: David Beckham didn't dress, missing his scheduled Major League Soccer debut because of a lingering ankle injury that kept him on the bench during the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy's 0-0 tie with Toronto FC. Beckham wasn't among the starting 11 or seven substitutes for the game, played before a sellout crowd of 20,522.

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