American snowboarding legend Shaun White did not make it in the podium this time, after his second run through the pipe came out short to swaying the judges. One of the main reasons of the setback is the costly hitch midway into the pipe, which saw his snowboard almost snapped in half.
White's failure to win a medal in the Men's Half-Pipe Final was the glaring evidence of the end of the United States' stranglehold in the competition. Entering Tuesday's medal round, the Americans won eight of the last 12 medals in the men's Half-Pipe event, before White, Danny Davis and Greg Bretz all botched to execute their tricks perfectly on the much-panned course at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
"The American riders were among the most vocal in criticizing the condition of the halfpipe following practice rounds on Sunday and Monday," the Washington Post reported.
White booked his ticket in the finals by scoring a 95 in the preliminary round, but he just did not bring his A-game in the finals as he hit the edge of the wall in the first run and then came up with a magnificent but not-so-smooth second run, which is good enough for fourth place with a score of 90.25.
Iouri Podladtchivov of Switzerland bagged the gold medal after he YOLO flipped his way to a score of 94.75. The Japanese occupied the second and third spot in podium with 15-year old Japanese sensation Ayumu Hirano scoring 93.50 and Taku Hiraoka recording 92.25.
"Switzerland's Iouri Podladtchivov, the Russian-born 2013 world championships winner, took gold with a score of 94.75, while Japan's Ayumu Hirano (93.50) and Taku Hiraoka (92.25) took silver and bronze. White's best score in the finals was 90.25, which means he missed a medal by two points," reported the Washington Post.
For White, the loss might be devastating enough for him to take a hiatus from the sport, as he later announced his plan to take a leave from snowboarding to tour with his band.
"I don't really think [Tuesday night] makes or breaks my career," White told reporters following his event via NESN. "I've been snowboarding for so long and I love it. It's given me so much. I'm happy to take this for what it is and move on, continue to ride and put my best foot forward. I would always like to be remembered as more than a snowboarder. I have so much going on in my life and this is one big part of who I am. But it's not all that I am."
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