Warning: Don’t keep reading if you’d like to remain spoiler-free regarding the men’s snowboarding halfpipe finals from the 2014 Winter Olympics. It will be featured as part of NBC’s primetime coverage Tuesday (Feb. 11) starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
After withdrawing from the snowboarding slopestyle competition due to a wrist injury and so that he could concentrate on defending his gold medal in the men’s halfpipe, Shaun White could not pull it out for the Sochi Winter Games.
White fell on his first finals run, placing him second-to-last. However, every snowboarder gets a second run and the better of the two scores is used for the medal standings, so White could have launched himself into first place with his second run.
However, White’s score of 90.25 (a terrific score) was not enough to catapult him onto the medal stand. He was bested by a snowboarder from Swizerland and two from Japan. This is the first time White has not medaled in the event. He won gold in both 2010 and 2006.
The other two U.S. snowboarders to make the finals, Danny Davis and Greg Bretz, also had a tough day. They weren’t really medal contenders, but they both had runs far below their normal scores. There’s no word yet as to if it had to do with the condition of the course, but Davis has been particularly vocal about the poor boarding conditions, saying that the bumps on the bottom flat portion of the course have been causing difficulties for riders.
“It’s the Olympics. It should be flawless. What a lame showcase of snowboarding, and what a lame way to treat the
athletes. … The IOC probably didn’t want to pay the right guys to do it,” Davis tells Yahoo Sports. “I’m pretty sure what they’re focused on is keeping as much money
in their hands as possible.
“That’s the shame of it all. All these kids,
myself included, worked very hard to get here. And then the pipe is just
no fun and boring and [expletive]. Halfpipe is super fun. But riding a
crappy pipe and having to perform in it is the worst.”
The final results:
Switzerland, Iouri Podladtchikov, 94.75
Japan, Ayumu HIrano, 93.50
Japan, Taku Hiraoka, 92.25
U.S., Shaun White, 90.25
Switzerland, David Habluetzel, 88.50
China, Yiwei Zhang, 87.25
China, Wancheng Shi, 81.00
Slovenia, Tim-Kevin Ravnjak, 72.25
Australia, Kent Callister, 68.50
U.S., Danny Davis, 53.00
Switzerland, Christian Haller, 51.50
U.S., Greg Bretz, 26.50