Jagger Eaton reacts after winning the final for the SLS Super Crown World Championship on Nov. 14, 2021 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Eight months after winning an Olympic bronze medal on the west side of Tokyo Bay, skateboarder Jagger Eaton won his first X Games gold on the east side.
The 21-year-old from Mesa, Arizona, won the men’s park event Sunday in Chiba, Japan. The competition marked the first X Games to be held in Japan, which followed the Olympic debut of skateboarding last year in Tokyo.
A BMX freestyle park event was also included in the Olympics for the first time in Tokyo. American Justin Dowell, who took part in that Olympic contest, finished in second in the men’s BMX park event in Chiba.
For Eaton, the win was his first in a decade of appearing at the X Games, having previously won three silvers since his 2012 debut.
“Really I’m just getting comfortable in this environment,” he said on the broadcast. “You know, this is kind of where I live. I get my mail sent to these competitions. This is where I live. I live with the pressure. I live in that bowl. I live in the street. And that’s just kind of the way I train, the way I prepare.”
Just hours after winning the park event, Eaton closed out the competition by finishing fifth in men’s street. That’s the event in which he claimed the bronze medal in at last year’s Olympics.
“Oh man it’s so special,” Eaton said of his park win. “I mean, dude, these guys that you’re going against, it’s no joke. You can never underestimate them.”
Dowell, 22, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, took second in BMX park behind Australia’s Logan Martin, who also won gold at the Olympics.
In the Olympics, men and women compete in park and street events for skateboarding, and park for BMX freestyle. Those disciplines were also included in this weekend’s X Games program. Five U.S. men and three women reached the park finals in skateboarding park, while three American men did so in BMX. Park athletes perform in a hollowed-out course similar to an empty swimming pool. Three U.S. men and one woman qualified for the final in skateboarding street, where the course resembles a city street with handrails, walls, ramps and other features.
Eaton was one of two American skaters on the podium in men’s park, with Australia’s Kieran Woolley taking second and Liam Pace of the U.S. in third. Three other U.S. skaters reached the final. Tristan Rennie was fifth, Gavin Bottger sixth and Olympian Zion Wright eighth.
Eaton led three U.S. skaters in the men’s street final, with Dashawn Jordan taking sixth and Olympian Jake Ilardi eighth. Yuto Horigome, the defending Olympic champion, led a podium sweep for Japan.
Olympian Bryce Wettstein was the top U.S. woman in park, taking fourth, with Minna Stess in sixth and Ruby Lilley in seventh. Defending Olympic gold medalist Sakura Yosozumi led another Japanese sweep of the podium spots.
Poe Pinson was the lone U.S. woman in the skateboarding street final, taking fifth. Brazil’s Rayssa Leal, the 2020 Olympic silver medalist, took the win.
Following Dowell in BMX park, American Daniel Sandoval finished fifth and Jeremy Malott took seventh.