American snowboarding legend Shaun White will attempt to earn his third straight Olympic gold medal in halfpipe when the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia continue on Feb. 11. According to betting odds posted to SkyBet on Feb. 10, the man once known as the Flying Tomato is favored to accomplish the feat by a considerable margin.
The 27-year old White, who claimed the men's halfpipe title at the 2006 Torino and 2010 Vancouver Olympics, is favored to win the Sochi event with 1/2 odds. His focus on the halfpipe is so intense that he opted out of the slopestyle contest, which was eventually won by American Sage Kotsenburg, to prepare for the Feb. 11 competition.
The man most likely to challenge White for the victory is Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland, who enters the event with a 13/2 shot of taking gold. Known as I-Pod, the Russian-born competitor created the innovative Yolo flip and is a big fan of White's. In a Feb. 10 USA Today article, he aggressively defended the U.S. star against detractors, calling those who trash talk him "morons."
A pair of boarders comprised of American Danny Davis and Ayumu Hirano of Japan are tied for third place, with each entering the competition with 7/1 odds of scoring the gold medal, while Vancouver halfpipe silver medalist Peetu Piiiroinen of Finland is ranked fifth with a 14/1 shot at gold. Two Americans follow, with Taylor Gold taking the six-spot with 16/1 odds, and Gregory Bretz ranking seventh with 20/1 odds of his own.
Posted odds for the rest of the halfpipe field are as follows:
- Taku Hiroaka, Japan, 25/1
- Nathan Johnstone, Australia, 33/1
- Markus Malin, Finland, 40/1
- Ben Kilner, Great Britain, 50/1
- Dominic Harington, Great Britain, 50/1
- Brad Martin, Canada, 66/1
- Seamus O'Connor, Ireland, 100/1
- Scotty James, Australia, 100/1
- Kent Callister, Australia, 100/1