Boldly containing "redemption" in its title, NBC Olympics shared the stunning video of American snowboarder Shaun White winning gold thanks to his more than impressive third and final halfpipe run during the men's snowboard halfpipe. On Tuesday, White gave the judges and audience a powerful performance with sky-high flips and graceful landings.
Just like his female peer, Chloe Kim (who also won a gold medal on Monday), White scored nicely above 90 in his first run at 94.25. White was competing against an international range of solid players, from Japan to Australia. Male snowboarders like Yuto Totsuka, Ayuma Hirano, and Raibu Katayama from Japan, Peetu Pirroinen from Finland, Scotty James from Australia, and Switzerland's Jan Scherrer were up against White, among others.
During his third and final run, White had his last chance to prove that he could actually win the gold medal for the men's snowboard halfpipe. This meant that White had to win high scores for every trick back-to-back in order to compensate for any missing marks.
In his first flip during his third run, White scored an impressive 12.60 for his double twist, a 12 for his frontside flip, and more points, ultimately rewarding him a whopping 97.75 by the end of his intense power ride. By the look on his face, you could tell White wanted this gold medal more than anything. Here's a clip.
Competition for White was tough, to say the least. The most intense rivalry came from Japan with Hirano's stunning moves in the second halfpipe run. During his second attempt, Hirano scored a powerful 95.25 with back flips, front-side spins, and beautifully crisp landings. That said, the young Japanese snowboarder was overpowered in both the first and final runs due to his lower scores at 35.25 and 43.25 respectively. Still, at 95.25 behind White, Hirano showed that he was a worthy opponent of the American snowboarder. Both players hugged at the end of White's final run.
After Hirano and White, Australia's James secured a clean 92.00 in his first run, 81.75 in his second run, and 40.25 in his final halfpipe. Although his fans believed he would score high in each run, White's stumble during his second run cast instant doubt on his admirers' hope. No worries, though. The player truly made a breathtaking comeback in his final run with back-to-back flips. By the end of it, White was weeping with joy.
White's story hasn't always been hunky dory. In 2014, the snowboarder suffered massive disappointment after scoring fourth place in the snowboard slopestyle event. The professional snowboarder, who took his audience's breath today, was much shakier four years ago. In front of thousands of viewers, White tripped twice and scored shockingly low during his Sochi run.
White told NBC Olympics that it was the "worst thing" that happened to him but he learned some practical lessons during his defeat. "One great thing I learned is that, the worst thing I could have imagined happened, and I was still there. I was still alive and well and had a great family and a dog. My dog still liked me! And I thought, for some reason, if you don’t win the slate gets wiped clean." White kept hope. He added, "But people were still like, 'You’re the champ! You won medals already,' so I was still getting recognized for the things I did before. You can’t really take that away," he said.
Now with his Tuesday victory in the form of an Olympic gold medal, White can come back to the United States like a snowboarding hero. His fans on Twitter are already going crazy for him.