Shaun White lifted his helmet off, the red hair that made him famous considerably shorter than it once was. He raised his hand, nodded his head, and waved his black helmet at the onlookers. White wiped a tear from the corner of his eye as fans roared, waiting for a goal he knew wouldn’t impact the rankings.
Last Competition of his Long Career.
The snowboard icon finished fourth in the snowboarding halfpipe final on Friday at Genting Snow Park in the penultimate competition of his long career. The three-time gold winner, who was 35 at the time, started his last run in fourth place and had a chance to pass the Swiss competitor Jan Scherrer and win bronze.
White, who was visibly moved by the experience, stated, “You don’t always get what you want, but I have to be thankful for everything that I do have and what I have gotten throughout the course of my career.” I can’t help but cheer for these men.
Japanese standout Ayumu Hirano landed unprecedented triple corks in each of his three runs and earned his first Olympic gold medal after settling for second in the prior two Games. When simply hitting a triple cork in his second score of 91.75 didn’t match Australian Scotty James’ 92.5, Hirano pushed the triple-flipping, quadruple-twisting act even higher to past James on the final attempt of the day.
To show his gratitude to the judges, Hirano raised his mittened hand after he stomped the winning run worth 96 points. James, who earned bronze in Pyeongchang, took silver.
Despite two mishaps in the final heats, American Taylor Gold placed fifth, and Chase Josey came in seventh.
White had two flawless runs to start the competition, the second of which earned him an 85 and moved him into second position. The efforts demonstrated that White was still the reigning champion despite the emotional outpouring for his farewell competition.
This Reality was Somewhat Masked By his Impending Retirement.
His decision to retire ended any remaining motivation to compete in or win in the 2026 Games in Milan. In the end, it became “an appreciation tour.”
After Wednesday’s qualifying rounds, he added, “I could honestly say I’m really proud of what I’ve done.” It will be exciting to observe how the next generation of athletes develops the sport. Take a look at how far it’s come.
White recalled the days of using shovels to create halfpipes. Hirano now landed the first triple corks at an Olympic competition, and he did it on what Josey dubbed “the best pipe in the world.” As far as White is concerned, four wheels is reasonable.
Gold, who finished in the top half of the final despite maxing out his spins at 1260 compared to the leaders who threw 1440s, said, “[The style] of halfpipe is what drew me to it initially, and I think that’s super valuable for people watching who want to get into snowboarding, want to get into halfpipe.” When riders see that their peers are receiving high marks for their style, they are more likely to incorporate it into their own runs, which in turn encourages even more riders to do the same.