Always Bet On White—Shaun White Wins XX Winter Olympic Halfpipe

One week after arriving in Italy, Shaun White put together run worthy of Olympic gold. After sitting down on his first qualifying run and not making the initial cut of six, Shaun came back and knocked out highest score of the two qualifying runs. He later said, “I really never get nervous, but I was kind of tripped out after the first run.

Before his second run, Shaun made laps on the chairlift, staying loose and freeriding with coach Bud Keene. His U.S. teammates Danny Kass, Mason Aguirre, and Andy Finch all made the cut in run one.

Finch decked out in a pre-finals practice session between huge look-back airs, hurting his wrist, but evidently not breaking it.

In the twelve-rider final, it was anyone’s game—most expected a podium for Mason after his first run, and in dark, Old World alleys you can still hear talk of him being robbed. Danny fell on run one, but got his silver medal with run two. In the best-of-two-runs format, Shaun was the top finisher after his first finals run.

The second run goes in reverse order, so Shaun was the last to ride. No one had beaten his first-run score, so Shaun’s second run was a victory lap complete with a couple of surfy frontside slashes.

It was a day of ups and downs, and my thoughts are scattered. I’ll put more together a little bit later, after talking to the riders and coaches. It’s already been a long, intense week, and the girls are up tomorrow. They’re getting together for dinner tonight at the Team house. Others are headed to Torino for the men’s Medal Ceremony.

Kurt’s Predictions:

1. Shaun White
2. Danny Kass
3. Antti Autti
4. Mason Aguirre

Final Results

1. Shaun White
2. Danny Kass
3. Markku Koski
4. Mason Aguirre
5. Antti Autti
6. Gary Zebrowski
7. Markus Keller
8. Vinzenz Lüps

Complete results to come.

Kurt’s Predictions for Women’s Pipe:

1. Kelly Clark
2. Gretchen Bleiler
3. Hannah Teter
4. Torah Bright
5. Doriane Vidal