BONGPYEONG, South Korea – By the point it was Shaun White’s flip to enter the halfpipe, 28 different riders had wrapped up each qualification runs, and White had nothing to show, actually. There was no medal on the road in Tuesday’s qualification spherical, and his spot within the finals was secured by his preliminary spectacular spin by means of the pipe.
However he could not assist himself. The others had gone so huge, and he’d been ready 4 years to erase and exchange that painful reminiscence from the 2014 Olympics.
“I knew I had it in me and I watched these guys put in these superb runs and it fired me up,” he stated. “I simply needed to point out, that is what I have been doing my complete life and I am right here to place it down.”
White placed on a stunning, dizzying present that erased any doubts about which snowboarder is competing with a goal on his again. In any case these years, it is nonetheless White, competing in his fourth Winter Video games. His rating of ninety eight.25 threw the gang on the Phoenix Snow Park right into a frenzy and put the opposite riders on discover that although they have not seen a lot of White these previous few years, he seems to be extra just like the man who gained Olympic gold in 2006 and ’10, not the one who was a disappointing fourth in Sochi.
White, 31, was the final rider within the pipe on Tuesday and had the good thing about seeing simply how aggressive this yr’s subject is. All the riders – notably the highest 5 qualifiers – set a excessive bar on the opening day of the competitors, they usually know there’s solely factor left to do: fly as excessive over it on Wednesday, flipping and spinning as many occasions as potential.
“Everyone’s shredding,” stated American Jake Pates, one in every of 4 U.S. riders to make the 12-man finals. “The Olympics is an enormous deal, so I feel everyone simply needs to ship their hardest stuff and go as massive as they will. It is all the time loopy to see what goes down.”
The halfpipe qualifying had a shocking quantity of 1-upmanship. Japan’s Ayumu Hirano topped White’s first run by posting a rating of ninety five.25. Australia’s Scotty James shortly bested it with a ninety six.25. Each felt like haughty marks till White dropped into the pipe.
“Dude’s all the time going huge,” stated American rider Ben Ferguson. “It is type of what you anticipate virtually.”
The technique in qualifying is often easy: Put collectively a run that is ok to punch a ticket into the finals. Riders maintain the bar low sufficient to allow them to simply prime it the subsequent day, setting a baseline of types…