At the Los Angeles Times, "Jake Brown's epic fall is not forgotten":
It has been six years, but fans still ask Jake Brown the same questions: "How did it feel? What was going through your head? How are you still alive?"More at the top link.
It's understandable, but how Brown walked away from a 45-foot free fall really isn't.
It has become the main part of his legacy in the skateboarding big air event — not landing the first ollie 720, winning a gold medal after years of trying or skating on two broken ribs in Barcelona earlier this year.
"I haven't really seen too much of that change. It's still the same six years since I did that," Brown said. "Yeah it's always brought up, but I'm just here to skate and try to help us progress. I just want to leave a positive mark on the sport."
On that day in 2007, the Australian landed the first 720 in big air competition over a 55-foot gap before losing control, his body flailing in mid-air before smacking the wood ramp. His shoes flew 50 feet, his head was under his back due to the whiplash and the Staples Center crowd was eerily silent.
Fellow big air gold medalist Bob Burnquist was at the top of the ramp when he thought he saw his friend for the last time.
"I fell on the ground and started crying because I thought he had died," Burnquist said.
Brown's injuries were a fractured wrist, fractured vertebrae, bruised liver, bruised lung, ruptured spleen and concussion. And yet he still got up and walked off.
Two years later, Brown won the gold medal in that same event, when he realized mental preparation underneath the helmet is almost as important as technical prowess above the board.
"I thought I was good right away, but it took me a couple of years to mentally get back to where I wanted to be," Brown said. "Everything is heightened at that level: the danger, the rush, the reward."