Shaun White’s legendary snowboarding career has finally come to an end in Beijing. The three-time Olympic gold medalist failed to reach the podium in Friday’s men’s halfpipe final after falling in his third and final run. Japan’s Ayumu Hirano, Australia’s Scotty James and Switzerland’s Jan Scherrer won gold, silver and bronze, respectively.
A strong second-run score of 85.00 saw White move into second place, then only 2.25 points behind Switzerland’s Jan Scherrer. But James and Hirano’s posted second-run scores of 92.50 and 91.75, passing them both. White scored a 72.00 in his first run.
The three-time gold medalist White hoped to become the second Winter Olympian to win gold in four different Games. This was White’s last chance to do so, as he’s retiring from competitive snowboarding after Beijing.
White reached the final after an uneven performance in Wednesday’s qualifiers. The five-time Olympian fell during his first qualifying run, but he managed to advance after scoring an 86.25 in run No. 2. His second-run score ranked behind only Hirano, James and Japan’s Ruka Hirano.
At 35, White was seven years older than the next-oldest snowboarder in the men’s halfpipe final: 28-year-old American Taylor Gold. White’s consistency and longevity are why many consider him to be the greatest snowboarder of all time.
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