Shaun White poses after the men's snowboard halfpipe final at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Feb. 11, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China.
ZHANGJIAKOU, China – The end of an era.
Shaun White’s legendary and prolonged Olympic career came to a close Friday. The five-time Olympian competed in his fifth consecutive snowboard halfpipe finals, finishing in fourth place at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
The three-time Olympic gold medalist was pushing for his fourth gold at Genting Snow Park, scoring solid first and second runs, which earned 72.00 and 85.00, respectively. White pushed to hit back-to-back cab double cork 1440s to edge onto the podium but failed to land his second.
“I’m proud of what I put down, and I can’t help but think if I would have hit the podium in third, I would have wanted second. If I got second, I would have wanted first,” said an emotional White. “It’s just the fighter in me and always hoping for more, but I’m proud. Fourth is great."
Japan’s Ayumu Hirano made history after becoming the first person to land a full run including a frontside triple cork 1440 (three off-axis rotations with four complete spins). The 2014 and 2018 halfpipe silver medalist landed the trick several times, once in each of his three runs, scoring 33.75 (after falling later in the run), 91.75 and 96.00 to take home gold.
White attempted to become the first halfpipe snowboarder to land a triple cork on snow at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 but got injured attempting it in training, shelving the trick indefinitely. He had previously landed it on the air bag.
Australia’s Scotty James, who won bronze in the men’s halfpipe in 2018, went one spot higher here at the 2022 Winter Games, winning silver with a 92.50 from his second run. Jan Scherrer from Switzerland rounded out the stacked podium following an 87.25 high score.
“What a run [for] Ayumu [Hirano] and Scotty [James] and Jan [Scherrer],” White said after narrowly missing the podium. “I mean what a run [Hirano did]. That triple was incredible, it’s the biggest air of the day and to put that down. I know he’s wanted it, and it’s his time.”