When his score of The long road back from disappointment in Sochi four years ago. The notion the man who for so long served as a pioneer had been surpassed by the next generation. Hardly looked like it. Speedskater Bonnie Blair earned gold in the , and Games. I was pretty sure I put it down but it took a little while. Just trying not to make eye contact with the judges. James, White and Hirano have eyed this showdown on the world stage for months and Hirano — who edged James in the X Games last month, an event White opted to skip after locking down a spot on the U.
Olympic Team — shrugged when asked if he was concerned about the White put together a dazzling first run, throwing a single early that scored a Hirano responded immediately, uncorking back-to-back s. When the crowd exploded as his Hirano missed an opportunity to go even higher when he washed out on his final run.
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James put together an unspectacular last set, setting the stage for White. He went last during his gold medal runs in Turin in and Vancouver in Yet White had the top of the podium locked up during his last sprint down the pipe on both occasions. This moment required something more. And he delivered. While the culture of snowboarding occasionally finds itself at odds with the competitive nature of the sport — James openly questioned the judging before the Games — White embraces it. His life became more complex as he tried to juggle his snowboarding career and the endless business opportunities it provided.
Injuries started to pile up. In the interim, the sport that he defined went on without him. White found himself no longer inventing tricks so much as trying to master the pioneering acrobatics of others, including Hirano. At 14, in , Shaun entered a dry run for the Olympics in Salt Lake City and finished 2 nd in the halfpipe giving hope to many that he could actually win the gold medal at the Olympics the following Olympics.
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It was no shock the next year Shaun had risen to the occasion and was performing above a level that was expected of him and things suddenly took off. Shaun has also triumphed at the X Games by winning a medal at every Winter X game since ; totaling 14 in all, two bronze, three silver and nine gold medals. He also was the first male athlete to ever win a fourth consecutive championship in one event at the X games.
The fifth win was foiled by Andreas Wiig.
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Shaun eventually got his chance to play on the Olympic team where he brought home a gold medal for his collection. He had two qualifying runs to do. In his first run he was tight and incredibly nervous and he had even fallen.
So as he prepared for his second run he headed down the mountain totally relaxed and aced it scoring a Everything after that he did with what seemed like complete ease. He mastered six tricks, each one astonishing the crowd more than the last, performing the best run he had ever done. This allowed him to finish with the highest score in the entire competition, a One would assume that this was probably one of the most prestigious moments of his entire life.
In , at the age of 16 he attended the Slam City Jam and made his professional debut as a skateboarder. When came around Shaun was at the height of his sports career with a phenomenal year of wins and an Olympic gold medal added to his collection. Shaun was the first person to land back to back double corks in an international halfpipe competition. He was also the first person to ever land a Cab-7 Melon Grab in vert skateboarding. A difficult trick to perform, a Cab-7 Melon Grab involves grabbing the back of the board between both heels and extending the legs forward making it appear that you are laying back.
He still remains the only person to land the body varial front side , otherwise known as the Armadillo. Shaun may be great at what he does on a board but he has had his fair share of accidents, broken bones and fractures. Before Shaun had even begun competing professionally he had broken his hand, fractured his skull and broken his foot.
Final run propels Shaun White to Olympic history
During the X games he suffered his worst injury when he tore the meniscus tissue in his knee leading him to do six months of rehab before heading back to the slopes to train for more snowboarding. His parents recall being terrified watching him wipe out all those times since having almost lost him as a baby. The one big thing Shaun is able to do that some competitors are not is relax on his board. The better he is doing the more relaxed he looks. If that is the case then continue to bring on the pressure and Shaun will continue bringing the United States gold medals.
For this dedicated guy the possibilities are endless.
Shaun White talks Olympics at the red carpet for the 25th ESPYs | GMA
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