Despite White’s enthusiastic send-off from his team, filled with “Yeah, Shauns!” and high-fives all around, White had to accept defeat and the eleventh place spot he temporarily earned after the first of his final runs.
During the outing, White spun like a propeller and glided high into the air at 5.3 meters but fell into the ledge before sliding down the halfpipe on his backside.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist, happily representing his country with a patriotic bandana around his face, did not give up and pulled out a score of 90.25 in the second run, landing him in fourth place and just missing the medal stand. (Aside from the gold medal, the one thing we can’t help but miss is White’s curly red mane falling out of his hat, but this year fellow U.S. snowboarder Danny Davis — who tumbled into tenth place — had that covered.)
Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland took home the gold after completing two near-perfect runs, finished off with two exuberant celebrations – first throwing his hands proudly in the air leading to a headfirst slide onto the bench, then triumphantly throwing his snowboard before embracing the crowd.
Ayumu Hirano and Taku Hiraoka, both of Japan, took home the silver and bronze, respectively.
With the unseasonably warm temperature and the halfpipe in a less than perfect state, the wipeouts were in abundance. America’s own Gregory Bretz faltered under the pressure, landing him in twelfth, with Australia’s Kent Callister, Slovenia’s Tim-Kevin Ravnjak, and more careening onto that frown-filled (and snow covered) bandwagon.
What pulled you in on this Tuesday of the Winter Games? Did you get emotional when White wiped out? Were you surprised with the results? (And the insane amount of spills?) Or were you watching the inaugural women’s ski jump competition or the women’s slopestyle final? Or something else? Sound off in the comments!