olympics snowboard
USA's Shaun White reacts after falling during his first run in the mens final of the Snowboard Mens Halfpipe during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. (Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)

Shaun White Fails at Olympic Threepeat

Favorite finishes fourth in halfpipe, no medal

olympics snowboard

Switzerland and Japan are taking home halfpipe medals from Sochi, but unfortunately for the United States and Shaun White, the Olympics doesn’t award hardware for fourth place.

“It’s tough. I really wanted to win tonight, but it wasn’t my night,” White told BBC 5 Radio Live.

White fell twice during his first run of the halfpipe finals, scoring a dismal 35.00 and dropping to 11 out of 12 in the field that he led earlier today during the qualifying round. Because the leader of the qualifying round goes last in the finals, White knew he’d have to do just as well as he did in the qualifier to win his third Olympic gold medal in the halfpipe.

Sketchy landings on his second of two runs in the final scored him only a 90.25, 4.5 points behind first-place Swiss rider Iouri Podladtchikov. Fifteen-year-old prodigy Ayumu Hirano from Japan took silver, and fellow countryman Taku Hiraoka took bronze. Americans Danny Davis and Gregory Bretz finished tenth and 12th.

After winning halfpipe gold at the 2006 Turin and 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, White was on the cusp of being the first American man to win the same event in three consecutive Games. Now that this title is impossible for White, speedskater Shani Davis will attempt to do it in the 1,000-meter race on Wednesday.

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021
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Lead Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire