Robbie Maddison, who won a silver medal in Moto X Best Trick at X Games 16 and had planned to attempt the risky Double Volt on Thursday night, withdrew from both Moto X events (Best Trick and Freestyle) Wednesday due to injury. Maddison compressed vertebrae in his lower back during a Red Bull X-Fighters competition July 15 in Madrid, Spain, and has suffered pain and limited mobility since then.
Despite his withdrawal, Maddison still plans to make his X Games Rally Racing debut this weekend, and said he will attempt to break his own world record for distance jumped on a motorcycle New Year's Eve in San Diego, live on television. The world-record attempt hasn't been announced publicly but is scheduled to be released this week, Maddison said.
Regarding his injury sustained in Spain, Maddison said he crashed three times in practice and each crash contributed to what is known as multiple-impact syndrome. "To be honest, I actually packed the wrong helmet -- an older one that I wore last year," the Australian said. "I didn't realize it until I got there, and the crashes I had, the helmet didn't protect my head."
Maddison subsequently took a 10-day break from riding his bike, then on his first day back, he cased a jump and further aggravated the injury. He tried riding again after a brief break but said his back broke into spasms. Neither a chiropractor nor neuromuscular therapy healed him in time to compete this week. When he couldn't even touch his toes Wednesday morning, he decided to withdraw.
Maddison also missed the 2007 and 2009 X Games with a broken leg and dislocated shoulder, respectively. "It's not like I'm scared of riding injured," he said. "I'm a hard charger. I got silver in Best Trick last year with a broken hand. Physically, I probably could've hopped on my bike and done a jump, but what would've happened to me when I landed, I don't know. I just don't want to risk becoming a paraplegic. I've got too many friends with spinal injures."