American snowboarder Shaun White pulled out all the stops for his last Olympic run.
Unfortunately, it came to a disappointing finish. White failed to even make the podium. White holds the record for the most Olympic gold medals by a snowboarder and has also set a world record for the most X-Games gold medals. White won three gold medals from the 2018 PyeongChang Games, the 2010 Vancouver Games, and the 2006 Turin Games.
He placed fourth at the Sochi Games, which is where he finished in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games held in Beijing, China.
Shaun White’s Legendary Career Ends In Fourth
Although White, now 35, opened his final run with a frontside 1440, he failed to land his next trick and slid to the bottom on his stomach. Even though he failed to live up to many fans’ expectations, he received an overwhelming amount of applause from the whole crowd, including his fellow competitors.
After the event, White said, “A lot of emotions are hitting me right now, the cheering from the crowd, some kind words from my fellow competitors at the bottom, I’m so happy.”
“I just want to thank everyone for watching. Everyone at home, thank you. Snowboarding, thank you,” he added. “It’s been the love of my life…It’s been a journey. I can’t wait to see where this sport goes.”
Although he didn’t take home the gold, it was a dream come true for Ayumu Hirano, 23. In previous Olympics, Hirano had taken home the silver medal twice before he finally came in first and took home the gold last night. It marks Japan’s first-ever gold medal in the snowboarding halfpipe event.
Australia’s Scotty James, 27, took home the silver medal. Switzerland’s Jan Sherrer, 27, took home the bronze.
Shaun White Gets Emotional As He Reflects On The Career He Leaves Behind
“I just want to thank everyone for watching. Everyone at home, thank you. Snowboarding, thank you. It’s been the love of my life.”
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 11, 2022
Although Shaun White failed to place in his final Olympic event, he is still holding his head up high.
“Everybody was asking me what my legacy in this sport has been, and I’m like, ‘You’re watching it,” he said. “These younger riders, they’ve been on my heels every step of the way. To see them finally surpass me is, I think, deep down what I always wanted. To be beaten, to finally walk away without feeling like, ‘I could have done this…’”
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“As sad as I am to say goodbye, I’m so relieved,” he continued. “I won’t ever have to be at the top of the pipe stressed again, wondering, ‘Is this the day I might really hurt myself trying to push the envelope?’”
Shaun White Announces His Retirement
As The Blast previously reported, White, one of the oldest members on the American snowboarding team, announced that this Olympic event would be his last competition as he officially retires from the sport.
“I think this will be my, well this will be my last competition too, which is pretty special,” White said at a press conference in China.
Although he had been experienced plenty of knee and back issues from his legendary career, he said that he was not retiring due to a substantial injury.
“It’s this and it’s that, all these things are major things that brought me to this conclusion,” he said, adding that he took a chairlift up an empty mountain by himself to ponder his retirement.
“I was watching… the sun go down and it just hit me,” he said. “It was very sad and a surreal moment but really joyous as well.” He admitted that he “broke down” a little before calling his friends and family to let them know.
Although plenty of fans are sad to see White go, the world of Olympic snowboarding is in good hands. American snowboarder Chloe Kim made history yesterday taking home the gold medal for the second time.
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