Shaun White Will Leave Sochi Empty-HandedBy: Ann Casano - February 11, 2014
The snowboard king has been dethroned. Shaun White was vying for his third straight gold medal in Men’s Halfpipe at the Sochi Winter Games on Tuesday night. But this time, the Flying Tomato did not even medal. Iouri Podladtchikiov, known as I-Pod in the snowboarding community, won the gold with a score of 94.75.
I-Pod, who is only 15 years old, was born in Russia, but currently lives in Switzerland. His token move the YOLO (you only live once) is a two aerial somersault with a rotation of 1,440 degrees.
Both the silver and the bronze medals were won by Japanese snowboarders. Ayumu Hirano took home the silver and Taku Hiraoka won the bronze. White never seemed to get comfortable with the course on Tuesday. His best run, his second, scored only a 90.25 which was good for fourth place.
There is some controversy surrounding the event, like many events so far at the Sochi Games. American skiier Bode Miller complained of the snow conditions during the Men’s Downhill Finals on Sunday. A favorite coming into the race, Miller finished a disappointing 8th. White also pulled out of Sunday’s slopestyle event, after two years of preparation, due to safety concerns regarding the course’s construction.
Last night, some of the riders expressed concerns regarding the condition of the halfpipe. At one point, there was even talk of delaying the event due to loose snow which makes tricks dangerous. However, crews set out last night and today to fix the issues, and the event went on as scheduled. Some riders had a tougher time than others navigating the halfpipe, several riders wiped out, including Americans Greg Betz and Danny Davis who finished 10th and 12th.
White was the last snowboarder to go in the event. He knew what he needed to win the competition. However, he had two mistakes on the final run. This will be White’s only time in three Olympic appearances that he will go home without a medal.
Image via Twitter