Olympics 2014 men's halfpipe results: Did Shaun White defend his gold medal?
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