Three-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White will have a chance to defend his PyeongChang halfpipe title after advancing Wednesday out of the 2022 Games’ qualifying round, clinching the No. 4 spot on a suspenseful second run.
White under-rotated on one of his signature tricks – the double McTwist 1260 – in his opener, but came back to triumphantly stomp the move in Run 2 to score an 86.25.
The 35-year-old, a five-time Olympian, is now the oldest-ever men’s rider to compete in the Olympic event’s history. He won back-to-back golds at his first two Winter Games in Torino and Vancouver, before claiming a third in 2018 by landing back-to-back double cork 1440s on his final run.
The snowboarding icon told TODAY last month that the 2022 Olympics would likely be his “last run,” then confirmed the decision at a pre-Games press conference earlier this week. He said he realized it was time during a surreal moment while alone on a chairlift watching the sun go down.
Japanese trio Ayumu Hirano, Ruka Hirano and Yuto Totsuka placed a respective first, third and sixth overall, while Scotty James of Australia took second. Ayumu Hirano landed five tricks with 1080 degrees of rotation or more on Run 2 to score a 93.25.
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