Shaun White Claims His Third Olympic Halfpipe Gold 12 Years After His First One

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

At 31, the Flying Tomato is still ripe. Twelve years after claiming Olympic gold in the halfpipe in Turin in 2006, snowboarder Shaun White claimed his third such medal on Wednesday local time at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

White took gold in the event in Vancouver in 2010 as well before landing in fourth in Sochi at the last Winter Olympics. Entering his final run of the day, the last for all riders, White sat in second, trailing Japan’s Ayumu Hirano, 19, who’d earned a 95.25 on his second of three runs thanks to back-to-back 1440s.

White threw down consecutive 1440s of his own, adding a McTwist 1260 and a frontside 1260 to cap it off for a gold-winning score of 97.75.

“Honestly I just felt it inside [that] I had it. I knew I had to put it down,” he told NBC after his epic run to complete an American sweep in the snowboard halfpipe events, joining Chloe Kim. “It’s so hard to describe … it’s the feeling that I knew I had it but I had to still do it. And I’m working my way through the run, trick after trick, and it’s going well, better and better. And I’m riding away and I can’t tell you how amazing it felt. I’m so proud of even my first run out here.”

While his board skills have remained consistent over the years, White’s interviews have certainly changed since his victory in Turin.