Shaun White Doesn't Even Medal in Halfpipe

Switzerland's 'I-Pod' takes gold

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Feb 11, 2014 1:59 PM CST

(Newser) – The stage was set for Shaun White to make history with a third straight gold medal at today's halfpipe event in Sochi. Instead, the American didn't even medal, coming in fourth. Iouri "I-Pod" Podladtchikov of Switzerland took gold, while the Japanese pair of Ayumu Hirano and Taku Hiraoka grabbed the silver and bronze respectively. It was the first time the US has ever failed to medal in the event, which was introduced in 1998.

The much-maligned halfpipe itself was much improved following some last-minute work from the crew, including an overnight session, the New York Times reports. "It's bumpy, but it's much better than practice," Danny Davis said following a qualifying run. The Times says White "faltered" on both of his runs in the finals, but he at least medaled in the "nice guy" category. Right after qualifying for finals, he jumped over the barriers between him and the crowd so he could high-five and hug a pair of young cancer patients, CBS reports.

Shaun White of the US competes during the men's snowboard halfpipe qualifying session.
Shaun White of the US competes during the men's snowboard halfpipe qualifying session.   (Sergei Grits)
Shaun White of the US competes during the men's snowboard halfpipe qualifying session.
Shaun White of the US competes during the men's snowboard halfpipe qualifying session.   (Sergei Grits)
Shaun White competes during the men's snowboard halfpipe qualifying session at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
Shaun White competes during the men's snowboard halfpipe qualifying session at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.   (Sergei Grits)
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