Shaun White wins gold medal in men's half-pipe with near-perfect run in dramatic finish

Cameron Spencer/Getty

  • Shaun White won the gold medal in the men’s half-pipe in a dramatic finish Wednesday in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
  • Japan’s Ayumu Hirano passed White for first place in the second run, leaving White only one chance to retake the lead.
  • White scored a 97.25 on his final run, winning gold four years after failing to come away with any medals in the Sochi Olympics.

Shaun White needed all 97.25 points of his third and final run in the half-pipe to win gold Wednesday at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Unlike Chloe Kim’s runaway the night before in the women’s final, White was pushed by Japan’s Ayumu Hirano and Australia’s Scotty James. Hirano even passed White after scoring a 95.25 with a strong second run.

But White, whose turn came last, had a chance to top Hirano to get gold, and he did so with a near-perfect third run, throwing down back-to-back 1440s followed by back-to-back 1260s.

White pumped his fists as he finished the run but then had to wait for the judges’ scores to see whether he won gold or silver. When they announced his 97.25 points, White fell to his knees, ecstatic.

The gold is a redemption of sorts for White. After winning golds in the Turin Games in 2006 and in the Vancouver Games in 2010, White failed to come away with any medals in Sochi, Russia. White also had a tumultuous time in between Olympics, getting accused of sexual harassment by a former female drummer in his band and suffering a gruesome injury to his face that he revealed in an interview with NBC’s Mike Tirico made him question his future in snowboarding.

Back at the Olympics, White accomplished his goal of gaining a third gold medal in what may be his last games.

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