Heartbreak alert! Shaun White, who came to Sochi hoping to nab a three-peat victory in the men’s snowboarding halfpipe, failed to medal during the Feb. 11 event.
27-year-old Shaun White‘s reign of terror (or victory, depending on what country you’re from) officially ended on Feb. 11, when The Flying Tomato failed to medal in the men’s snowboarding halfpipe event that made him an Olympic hero in Vancouver and Turin.
Shaun White Doesn’t Medal In Halfpipe Event
Shaun came to Sochi hoping to win two medals, but unfortunately he’ll be coming home with none. After dropping out of the inaugural slopestyle event in the very last minute to focus on the halfpipe — the event that nabbed him the Gold in Turin and Vancouver — Shaun scored a measly 35 on his first run; falling twice on the controversial course.
White was on his way to becoming the fourth athlete in Winter Olympics history to win three consecutive gold medals in an individual sport, but Swiss boarder Iouri Podladtchikov simply outperformed him, scoring a 86.50 on his first run and a stellar 94.75 on his second. Shaun wasn’t exactly out of the running after his first run — he placed 11th out of 12 — but his vastly improved second run didn’t prove to be nearly enough to dethrone Iouri. Shaun bobbled twice, earning him a 90.25 that shot him up to fourth place.
Two riders from Japan — Ayumu Hirano, with a score of 93.50, and Taku Hiraoka, with a 92.25 — took silver and bronze respectively.
Sochi Halfpipe Draws Controversy
Of course Shaun should feel great about the two gold medals he already has, but if he really wants to feel better he can think about how crappy the halfpipe supposedly was. Boarders were furious about the conditions of the pipe — which had extremely vertical walls and a flat bottom — to the point where some riders said it resembled a moguls course.
The Sochi crew made adjustments by the time the event rolled around on Feb. 11, but it clearly wasn’t enough — several top riders wiped out multiple times. Shaun’s own teammate Greg Bretz earned only 26.5 points, putting him in 12th place for the second time in the Sochi games. And he looked pissed.
What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Are you bummed that Shaun lost? Do you think that the shoddy halfpipe job contributed to his loss? Let us know in the comments!
— Shaunna Murphy