Almost a year ago, Chaz Ortiz was showing that he was the next big thing in skateboarding. The 14-year-old took first place in skateboard park in the Free Flow Tour, the official amateur series of the Dew Tour. This year, Ortiz was given a wild-card entry into the Dew Tour, and the Chicago native proved that stardom might be in his near future. He had two nearly flawless runs in the Skateboard Park preliminaries, finishing third with a top score of 82.5 points, which advances him to the final at 2 p.m. tomorrow.
"This was way different than [the Free Flow Tour]," Ortiz said. "There was a lot harder competition, but it's a really fun contest. It's kind of crazy because you're thinking, `Whoa, it's really coming true,' but other than that, it's great. I love it."
Trick of the day
Diogo Canina performed the trick of the day in BMX Dirt. In 14th place after his first run, Canina performed a triple tail-whip on the last hill in his second run, to the delight of the judges and fans. He was given a 90.33, good for second place, and will compete in the final tonight at 7:30.
The myth that action sports are a young man's game was shattered in the BMX Vert preliminaries: Four of the seven bikers who advanced are in their 30s, and one is in his 40s. John Parker, 34, Jay Eggleston, 36, Kevin Robinson, 36, Dennis McCoy, 41, and Jimmy Walker, 36, advanced to the final at 4:30 p.m. today.
Bob Burnquist, who finished in the top four overall for the Skateboard Vert Dew Cup the past three years, took a nasty spill in yesterday's Skateboard Vert preliminary event. In Burnquist's second run, he came down on the vertical ramp off balance after a trick, then skated halfway up and then off the ramp. He fell onto the asphalt parking lot and lay on the ground for a few minutes before getting up and waving to the fans to signal he was OK. It appeared Burnquist injured his right arm. He was in second place and had qualified for today's final at 4:30. It's uncertain whether Burnquist will skate today.