For the first time since the sport was introduced in 1998, Team U.S.A. will not be heading home with a medal in men’s snowboard halfpipe.
The heavily-favored Shaun White finished fourth in the event Tuesday night, failing to win gold in the discipline which he was the two-time defending Olympic champion. After withdrawing from the men’s slopestyle, White will leave Sochi without a medal.
White qualified with the top score of 95.75, but failed to duplicate his early success when it mattered most. White fell twice in his first run and had some bobbles in his final run, amounting to a score of 90.25.
“I am disappointed,” said White. “I hate the fact that I nailed it in practice, but it happens. It’s hard to be consistent.”
Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland earned the top spot on the podium with a score of 94.75. Aptly nicknamed “I-Pod,” Podladtchikov landed his signature trick (the YOLO jump) and a bevy of other big tricks to capture gold; while Ayumu Hirano and Taku Hiraoka of Japan took home gold and Silver, respectively.
White’s American teammates Danny David and Greg Betz both failed to complete a run without falling.
“We let America down,” said Davis, who finished 10th. “Sorry, America. Iouri shined bright.”