Sochi, Russian Federation (4E Sports) – Favorite Shaun White was a big disappointment in the halfpipe competition of the Sochi Winter Olympics, ending up fourth behind Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov.
“For me to be remembered in the sport, I don’t think tonight makes or breaks my career,” White said. “I’ve been snowboarding for so long, and I love it so much, that I’m happy to take this for what it is and move on and continue to ride.”
White garnered just 90.25 points for his performance while Podladtchikov, who grew up in Davos but competed for Russia at the 2006 Turin Games , recorded 94.75 points to bag the gold medal.
“It really felt like there was no fighting at all,” Podladtchikov said. “It felt like it was all meant to be. It’s really weird.”
Ayumu Hirano and Taku Hiraoka of Japan placed second and third with 93.50 and 92.25, respectively.
This marked the first time that no American made it to the podium since the halfpipe joined the Olympic docket in 1998.
Four Americans were in the 40-man field, and three of them advanced to the 12-man final. But Greg Bretz and Danny Davis, two of the snowboarders who had previously beaten White in a halfpipe competition, each fell on both of their runs. Davis finished 10th while Bretz placed 12th.