U.S. snowboarder Shaun White has earned his third gold medal in the Winter Olympic men's halfpipe event. The thrilling come-from-behind victory for White came during his final run as he dazzled judges to post a score of 97.75.
The 31-year-old trailed Japan's Ayumu Hirano going into the third run of the 12-person final. White's first run was good enough to earn him a score of 94.25, a score that quickly fell to Hirano's second run, putting the pressure on White. The Flying Tomato's daring final run, which included consecutive 1440-degree spins, was enough to earn him the gold, and Team USA its 100th gold overall in Winter Games history.
Japan's Ayumu Hirano won his second straight Olympic silver medal rocking judges with a score of 95.25 points, while Australia's Scotty James was good for the bronze with a score of 92.00.
White was ecstatic when his score appeared, flipping his snowboard in the air, and dropping to his knees in celebration in the finish area. White has won gold medals in the event twice before, first in 2006, and again in 2010. With his win in 2018, he becomes the first American male to win gold at three separate Olympic events.
Four years ago in Sochi, he ran a disappointing fourth place, an event, he has pointed to as a moment that helped him re-evaluate his life, and rededicate himself to the sport.
The introspection seems to have paid off.