Shaun White Wins Gold Medal in Halfpipe in 2018 Winter Olympics
Four years ago, Shaun White did not make the podium in Sochi, Russia.
On Tuesday (Wednesday in Pyeongchang, South Korea), the 31-year-old redeemed himself with a gold-medal performance in the men’s halfpipe at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Thanks to his triumphant run, White is now the first snowboarder in Olympic history with three gold medals.
White earned a 97.75 in his third run, which was the final run of the competition, to finish 2.50 points ahead of Japan’s Ayumu Hirano. NBC Olympics shared a replay of White’s gold-clinching run:
White began his Olympic journey at the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy, where he was thrust into the spotlight at 19 years old following a sensational gold-medal performance. That ascent continued in 2010, when White successfully won gold in Vancouver, Canada.
However, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi represented a different story.
Although White was the odds-on favorite to snag gold in Russia, he finished fourth and failed to medal in the men’s halfpipe. He also withdrew from the men’s slopestyle competition just two days before the opening ceremony.
Reflecting back on his slip-up, White said the idea of trying to compete in multiple events was a steep proposition.
"I was learning the tricks in the halfpipe and rushing over to slopestyle, and by the time I got back to halfpipe, the little nuances of those tricks I was learning just went out the window and I had to relearn them," he told NBC Sports’ Julia Grassie. "It was time-consuming, it was tough."
As it turns out, that experience left a lasting mark and served as motivation for a comeback.
"People ask me when I got over Sochi," White told B/R Mag’s Brandon Sneed. "I’m like, ‘F–king got over Sochi?’ I never got over Sochi. I’ll never get over Sochi. It’s part of me now."
Now that he has a third Olympic medal around his neck, White’s journey has officially come full circle following a turbulent four years filled with ups, downs and second-guessing regarding his ability to return to the sport’s summit.
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February 13, 2018 at 07:36PM