By Paul D. Bowker | July 21, 2018, 6:54 p.m. (ET)

Mariah Duran competes at X Games Minneapolis on July 21, 2018 in Minneapolis.


When Mariah Duran finished her incredible second run in Saturday’s women’s skateboarding street final at X Games Minneapolis, the excitement of the moment was obvious.

A big smile took over her face. She high-fived spectators at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Duran’s run scored 87.66 points and vaulted her into first place. It is a score that held up for Duran to win her first X Games gold medal.

“I worked so hard,” Duran said on the telecast following her victory.

Duran, 21, was one of two Americans to finish on the podium. Three-time X Games gold medalist Alexis Sablone finished third.

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Defending X Games Minneapolis champion Aori Nishimura of Japan was second.

Skateboarding – with events in both street and park – will make its Olympic debut at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Duran’s winning second run came after a first run that scored under 30 points. She also fell on the first attempted trick in her final run. But it didn’t matter. The second run beat everybody.

The win was Duran’s first X Games medal since finishing runner-up in 2016 in Austin, Texas. She finished 10th in last year’s X Games Minneapolis, and following that she added a meditation process to her competition routine.

Sablone, who has a master’s degree in architecture from MIT, landed a kickflip down the stairs in a strong third run that landed a score of 84.00.

Sunday’s competition includes the final in women’s skateboarding park.

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.