X Games

Joe Parson competes in the snowmobile freestyle final Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, at the X Games at Buttermilk in Aspen, Colo. Parson finished in fourth place. (Christian Murdock/The Gazette via AP)

An impressive first run put a record-tying 18th Winter X games medal within reach for Yakima’s Joe Parsons at Friday’s Snowmobile Freestyle in Aspen, Colo.

But he couldn’t regain the spot on the podium after Justin Hoyer scored an 87.33 on his second and final run, leaving Parsons in fourth with an 86.33. Only the best score counts, and he failed to match his first run on the second attempt.

Parsons dazzled the crowd and impressed ESPN’s commentators during the first round, when he pulled off the “volt” he invented to win the competition in 2017. While in mid-air, Parsons spun around atop his machine and managed to control his landing even though he couldn’t grab the handlebars before hitting the snow.

On his last jump of the run, Parsons pulled off what he calls “The Parsby” when he landed a backflip while facing backwards on his snowmobile, a feat none of the other eight athletes attempted. He couldn’t regain control of the snowmobile in time to avoid a slow crash into the barrier, but he bounced back up quickly, pumping his fists in celebration.

Sweden’s Daniel Bodin won the event with a score of 91.66 and Parsons finished among the top four for the 10th time in 11 tries, since the event wasn’t held at the 2015 Winter X Games.

He took second in the Freestyle during his 2008 debut to earn the first of his 17 medals, one behind snowboarder Shaun White for the all-time record.