Shaun White nailed back to back 1440s and was so smooth in between each he left little doubt, winning his third gold medal in South Korea. He added a double McTwist, a Tomahawk on his backside and a front Double Cork 1260, proving that snowboarding doesn’t necessarily have to be a young man’s game if one keeps his or her body in proper shape.
After being written off following a flameout in Sochi, White put everything he had into this third gold medal, including two trips to the hospital during training in New Zealand, solidifying himself at 31 as arguably the greatest snowboarder in the history of the sport.
White’s nearest rival, Australian Scotty James, went down on his final run, touching the side of the pipe on a 1080 attempt while finishing in bronze medal position. The Californian’s smooth third go at the pipe easily knocked Japan’s Ayumu Hirano out of the top spot and into silver in a crushing blow for the young snowboarder who had definitely pushed the all-time great to the brink during the final.
But it was White’s incredible final run that won the day as he cried tears of joy at the bottom of the pipe.
You can see the entire halpipe competition on NBC.