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14

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SHAUN WHITE MAKES HISTORY
Wednesday February 14, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

The American superstar was in tears as he became the first snowboarder to win three Winter Olympic golds in the toughest competition of his life.





It meant everything to the 31-year-old to reclaim his Olympic title after finishing only fourth at Sochi four years ago.

And it showed in his emotional reaction as he clinched the gold with the last of his three runs.

Shaun WhiteAn emotional Shaun White


























He was pushed hard by 19-year-old Ayumu Hirano of Japan who led after the second run with 95.25 points, just one point ahead of White, and the 23-year-old Australian Scotty James.

Ayumu Hirano second run scoreAyumu Hirano goes into the lead






















White failed to land his second run so the pressure was on as he went into the final run in silver medal position.

And he nailed it.


Shaun WhiteShaun White's final run























Nailed itNailed it
























But was it enough?

He hurled his snowboard into the air as the judges' scores came in.

Shaun White makes historyShaun White makes history






















White, whose nickmame is The Flying Tomato because of his red hair,  had won gold at Turin in 2006 and Vancouver in 2010 before finishing a disappointing fourth in Sochi.

He's a multiple X Games champion. 

He has 13 X Games snowboarding golds and 18 medals in total.

He's also a double X Games skateboarding champion.

But he's rarely been involved in such a tight contest with so much pressure.

It was just about the best showcase of men's halfpipe snowboarding there's ever been and, if you didn't see it, we suggest you watch a re-run.

Shaun White wins goldThis is what it means - photo US Ski & Snowboard Team
































White himself said his final run was the best of his long career. It was the first time he had landed that particular run in competition. 

"It was tough," he told the BBC.

"Ayumi put down an amazing run and I knew I had to step it up."

Shaun White Shaun White speaks to the BBC


























He described Ayumi Hirano, who took silver and Scotty James, who took bronze, as super-talented.

"I am really proud to come out on top today and I am really thankful for those guys, honestly, because they pushed me to get to this point to be able to do these kind of runs."

He went on Instagram to describe it as the most amazing day of his life.



White later apologised for dragging the American flag on the snow as he celebrated, after a storm on Twitter.

Some felt it was disrespectful. 

White is a controversial character who divides opinion - he's not universally loved in the snowboarding community despite his supreme talent.

He's also facing allegations of sexual harassment by Lena Zawaideh, the drummer in his band.

He declined to answer a question on the subject at his gold medal press conference, describing it as "gossip".

MAIN PHOTO:  US Ski & Snowboard Team

More news from day five....

Alpine

Not for the first time the wind was the winner as the women's slalom race was first delayed - twice - and then postponed. 

Trees bending in the windThe trees tell the story






















Mikaela Shiffrin and the rest will now line up on Friday 16th.  The first run will be at 10am (1am GMT) and the second at 1.15pm (4.15am GMT).

The technical skiers will have a busy 24 hours.  The rescheduled women's giant slalom takes place on Thursday. 

The weather forecast in Pyeongchang is said to be better for the rest of this week. 

Curling

The stones and the brooms were out as Team GB's men and women got their Olympic campaigns under way in the round-robin matches.

The men - all Olympic debutants -  were in action twice.  They won the first against Switzerland 6-5 but lost 6-4 to the defending champions, Canada.

The women, who were disappointed to win only bronze at the Sochi games,  dominated against the Olympic Athletes from Russia, winning 10-3.  Their next match is on Thursday.

Team GB's freestyle skiers have been out training on the slopestyle course ahead of competiton which takes place this Saturday and Sunday.


Katie SummerhayesGB's Katie Summerhayes on Wednesday - photo Katie Summerhayes Facebook



































Highlights coming up on day six.....

Alpine

The rescheduled women's giant slalom.  First run 10am (1am GMT), second run 1.45pm (4.45am GMT).  Alex Tilley goes for GB.

The rescheduled men's downhill 11.30am (2.30am GMT).

Ice hockey

One of the biggest rivalries in sport is Canada vs USA in ice hockey.  Today it's the women of the two nations that take on each other in one of the preliminary round matches at 12.10pm (3.10am GMT).

Curling

The series of round robin matches continues including Team GB women taking on the USA at 9.05pm (00.05am GMT) and then China at 8.05pm (11.05am GMT).  The GB men are up against Japan at 2.05pm (5.05am).

Read our earlier stories from the Games.....

And PlanetSKI's guide to what's on when ...

And our rolling Olympic blog of all things quirky that take our fancy....

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news 


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