Maybe withdrawing from slopeside at the 2014 Winter Olympics wasn’t such a good idea for snowboarder Shaun White. On Tuesday he didn’t make it to the top of the podium. Actually, he didn’t make it there at all. In the sport where White was considered the best of his generation, he finished fourth in the men’s halfpipe at the Olympics on Tuesday night at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in Sochi, Russia, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"I was looking for four [golds] — I was hoping to do slopestyle, too," White said, according to the LA Times. He pulled out of slopestyle so he could focus on halfpipe. "But it didn't pan out. Tonight was just not my time."
As White spoke to reporters after his substandard run, he talked about how he had perfected his jumps in practice. "I am disappointed. I hate the fact that I nailed it in practice, but it happens," he said. "It's hard to be consistent."
White had aimed to become the the first U.S. male to win the same event at three straight Olympics, but instead it was Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland, known as I-Pod, who took the gold. I-Pod won with a score of 94.75. Tuesday night also proved to be a good night for Japan. Fifteen-year old Ayumu Hirano finished second after earning a 93.50 and Taku Hiraoka won the bronze with a score of 92.25.
Though White didn’t medal, he did better than teammates Danny Davis and Greg Bretz, who tumbled on their runs and finished in 10th and 12th. Since the event debuted in the 1998 Winter Olympics, the United States had dominated. It should be noted, however, that both White and Davis were critical of the halfpipe conditions during training.
The two-time gold-medalist had said he had a “frustrating” practice and another gold medalist, Hannah Teter, refered to it as a “junk show.” "Everyone is not happy right now," Teter said, according to the LA Times, before Tuesday night’s run. "I saw everyone take a hard fall today. That never happens.”
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