Shaun White knows Beijing is his last Olympic Games — and he says it’s also his last competition of any kind. But in his final Olympic snowboard halfpipe runs on Feb. 11 (Feb. 10 in the US), he didn’t hold back, and he finished the competition just off the podium in fourth.
White remained in fourth after each run, starting the halfpipe final with a 72.00-scoring first run. You saw him do tricks like a frontside 1440 and a Double McTwist 1260, a trick he invented. He moved to silver-medal position with run two (85.00), only to fall to fourth again when Australia’s Scotty James put down a massive 92.50 and Japan’s Ayumu Hirano scored 91.75. Hirano, who made history as the first athlete to land a triple cork in Olympic halfpipe competition, earned a 96.00 in his final run, solidifying the gold. James’s 92.50 held up in second, and bronze went to Switzerland’s Jan Scherrer. White fell in his third run, so that second performance ultimately stood due to the best-of-three format.
White also made it through to the finals in fourth place with an 86.25, landing his last preliminary run after falling on his first. (Only one run counted toward qualifications.) Of course, those scores reset before the final. “Wow! So happy to make it through into finals!!” White wrote on Twitter following the competition. “This being the last Olympic qualifying event of my career, I definitely felt the pressure. So pumped I pulled that last run off.”
On the women’s side, Chloe Kim defended her gold medal from Pyeongchang, becoming the first woman in snowboard halfpipe to claim two Olympic titles. White congratulated Kim on his Instagram Stories, writing, “So well deserved.”
Looking back at his career, White has three Olympic gold medals to his name (2006, 2010, and 2018). At his Olympic debut, he was 19 years old; now, he’s 35 and competing against teens and people in their 20s — Australia’s Valentino Guseli, 16, was the youngest competitor in the Beijing 2022 snowboard halfpipe final. White also earned several Summer X Games medals in skateboarding, making him the first athlete to compete and medal in both the Summer and Winter X Games.
However, White’s past is not free from controversy. A former bandmate sued White in May 2016 over alleged breach of contract for lack of payment, USA Today reported, then amended that suit to also include alleged sexual harassment. The lawsuit involving these allegations was settled in 2017.
White bid the crowd farewell, raising his helmet following that last run in Beijing. His competitors lined up to share their applause, too. Ahead, check out footage of those final Olympic showings of his career.