Deegan bounces back to win X-Games gold

Posted: Monday, January 31, 2005

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — It has been a year since Brian Deegan lost control of his motorcycle and fell 40 feet to the ice, and he still can't go anywhere without someone wanting to know about it.

It's hard to blame them for asking. The spill, which broke both Deegan's wrists and his leg, was horrific even in the thrills-and-spills world of the Winter X Games.

But while everyone else seems stuck on the crash, Deegan was past it long ago. The way he sees it, he had no other choice.

''I don't let it get to me. I'm over it,'' Deegan said Sunday. ''It's just part of the game. I think if people let it get to them, that's not a good way to come back.''

Deegan may seem nonchalant about coming back from a bad injury, but that's just part of the game of jumping dirt bikes.

Flipping a 250-pound motorcycle over a 90-foot gap on ice is going to lead to injuries, there's just no way of getting around it. The key is how the riders let the injuries affect them.

Deegan seems to have the right attitude.

He fought through nerves in Saturday's preliminaries, flipping and flying his way into the lead for Sunday's finals. Deegan had a hard crash during practice before the finals, hitting his head and tearing up the front end of his bike after failing to complete a backflip.

No worries.

Deegan shook off the headache and grabbed the lead with a no-foot backflip on his first run and didn't even have to take his second, becoming the first two-time Moto X winner in the nine years of Winter X.

''I could cruise through it, do a few flips and play it safe, but that's not how we compete,'' Deegan said. ''We're always in the running for the win because you never know what's going to happen or what kind of trick somebody's going to pull out.''

Notes: Charles Gagnier, of Victoriaville, British Columbia, won the skier slopestyle event, ending Tanner Hall's run at three straight golds. Gagnier had a score of 92.66 to finish 1.66 ahead of Hall, who won his sixth Winter X medal. ... Sweden's Sanna Tidstrand held off Karin Huttary for gold in the women's skier X, her first Winter X medal. ... Swiss snowboarder Marco Huser held off Xavier de le Rue down the final stretch, giving him and Swedish skier Eric Andersson gold in the ultracross race.

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