Shaun White, one of the world’s most famous snowboarders, headed off to Sochi with the intention of winning two gold medals, but, unfortunately, is leaving empty-handed.
White dropped out of the slope-style event less than 24 hours before the finals with the intention of ‘saving himself’ for the half-pipe; thus, automatically forfeiting one of this two potential gold medals.
When the super pipe event commenced, White’s signature event, all eyes were on White, expecting him to deliver under pressure. However, he couldn’t keep up with the competition, falling twice on his first run, and stumbling considerably on his second run, placing him ultimately in 4th place, just short of the podium. If White would have won gold in this super-pipe event, he would have dominated the event in three consecutive Olympic events.
White expressed deep disappointment in himself and the situation in general after his devastating loss. He admitted to simply ‘not showing up’ to his full abilities, but also said that the conditions of the course played a considerable role in this failure.
White’s failure may be partially blamed on the conditions of the competition slopes. White reportedly dropped out of the slope-style event in fear of the course being too dangerous and jeopardizing his chances of health and success in the super-pipe. To White’s disappointment, the super-pipe conditions were just a gruesome; the walls were too vertical and the bottom was so flat and bumpy that riders compared it to a moguls course. These conditions drastically restricted the practice time in which competitors had to work the course and practice their tricks, leaving much of their final runs up to fate.
Other competitors complained about horrid course conditions as well, adding to the validity White’s claim.
Either way, White’s legacy, although still intact, has been tarnished due to his underwhelming Olympic performance that had such high initial expectations.