Were Shaun White’s Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe Chances Ruined By The ‘Felicity’ Effect? — SPOILER
**If you don't want Winter Olympic spoilers, turn back now!**
Shaun White is suffering from the Felicity Effect. Some of you might know where we're going with this, but we'll explain. Earlier today, Shaun White placed fourth in the Men's Snowboard Halfpipe even though he was the favorite to win after winning gold in the event in both 2010 and 2006. The gold medal went to Swiss competitor Iouri Podladtchikov while and silver and bronze went to two Japanese men, Ayumu Hirano and Taku Hiraoka, respectively.
This news comes after White dropped out of the slopestyle event in order to focus on halfpipe. In a statement released earlier this month, White announced, "After much deliberation with my team, I have made the decision to focus solely on trying to bring home the third straight gold medal in halfpipe for Team USA." So... what could have changed that would make White not take home the gold or even medal? Was it that he practiced less? Was he just having an off day? Or did White's downfall start when he decided to chop off his long flowing locks back in 2012? If seemingly unrelated history proves anything, it's the latter.
White cut his hair in December 2012, so just over a year ago and long after the 2010 Vancouver Olympics where he earned his second gold medal. Similarly, when Keri Russell (this is for you, person who saw this coming in the first sentence) snipped her long curly hair, people stopped watching her show Felicity. This is the Felicity Effect. It is real and anyone who watched Shaun White compete today saw it in action. It is currently pending whether or not Jennifer Lawrence will succumb to the Felicity Effect.
Of course, this sometimes works in the other direction. This is known most recently as the Miley Cyrus Effect. Cut the hair and the career takes off. Unfortunately, things didn't work out this way for White. Perhaps he needed the hair to help with his aerodynamics.
Image: Getty Images