Jake Brown finally has something else to talk about.
The skateboarder whose grisly, 40-foot fall to the floor of the X Games mega ramp two years ago drew gasps and became a viral video sensation, won gold Thursday night in the same Skateboard Big Air competition at Staples Center.
"Feels great I guess," Brown said.
The 34-year-old Australian earned a 94 on the third of his five runs with a backside 360 over the mega ramp's gap into a 20-foot-high McTwist over the half-pipe for his first X Games gold.
Brown's 2007 spill knocked him unconscious and left him with a broken wrist, a cracked vertebra and a bruised lung.
It was six months before he got back on a skateboard, but when asked how long it took him to get his confidence back Brown said "probably about a day."
Despite the near-death experience, he was the first to roll down the ramp last year.
Two-time defending champion Bob Burnquist of Rio de Janeiro, who made his winning run in 2007 just after watching Brown's slam, managed to tie Brown's winning score on Friday, but Brown had a better second run.
"I remember when he went down like that I could see him coming right back out," said Burnquist, whose backyard mega ramp Brown used to get back in skating shape. "His type of skateboarding and his type of personality was just perfect to erase that and keep going. Now he's sitting here with a gold medal. That's insane."
Rob Lorifice of Encinitas, Calif., won bronze.
The competition had its usual spills but nothing close to Brown's fall or last year's pair of crashes from mega ramp creator Danny Way that sent him to the hospital for several days.
"That was the best part of the whole contest," Lorifice said, "that we're all sitting here and talking and no one's in the hospital."
HAWKINS HITS WITH MISSES: Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins won gold in the X Games Skateboard Women's vert competition Thursday despite a routine full of blown tricks.
The judges looked kindly on Hawkins' repeated attempts to land the first McTwist, or mid-air 540 spin, in women's competition.
Hawkins, 19, from Cardiff by the Sea, Calif., had been working with McTwist master Tony Hawk on the maneuver and had several near misses Thursday.
"We're all really pushing each other right now," Hawkins said. "I'm not even going to be able to snowboard this winter, because I'm going to have to skateboard all year round so I can practice and stick even more tricks next year."
She did manage to successfully land several kickflip indies, a trick that just a few years ago was considered untouchable in women's competition.
Karen Jonz of Brazil, who trumped Hawkins to take last year's gold, won silver and Gaby Ponce of Tenafly, N.J., took the bronze.
RENNER, CARMICHAEL SHARE GOLD: Freestyle motocross champion Ronnie Renner and supercross racing star Ricky Carmichael, despite coming from vastly different styles of dirt bike riding, shared a gold medal in Moto X Step-Up.
Renner and Carmichael each cleared 34 feet in the event, essentially a motocross high jump, but neither could clear 35 feet.
Carmichael, the most decorated racer in motocross history, won gold in the event last year in his first attempt.
(This version CORRECTS Corrects to Thursday in 2nd graf.)