New Castle News

Community News Network

February 11, 2014

White, US snowboarders stumble in halfpipe finals

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Shaun White came to these Sochi Olympics with big expectations. Already the owner of two gold medals, White qualified for two events and his goal here was as simple as it was lofty: to make history. No U.S. male had ever claimed three gold medals in the same event. Plus, White was hoping to double up in Sochi by trying to win the Olympic debut of slopestyle competition.

But he pulled out of the slopestyle event last week and then in Tuesday's halfpipe finals, he struggled to even stay upright. With a fourth-place finish, he'll leave the Sochi Olympics with zero medals.

Switzerland's Iouri Podladtchivov, the Russian-born 2013 world championships winner, took gold with a score of 94.75, while Japan's Ayumu Hirano (93.50) and Taku Hiraoka (92.25) took silver and bronze. White's best score in the finals was 90.25, which means he missed a medal by two points.

It was a shocking conclusion for a U.S. team that had a chance to sweep the podium. In the event's short history, the Americans had dominated, winning eight of the 12 medals that have been awarded since halfpipe debuted at the 1998 Olympics, including all three in Salt Lake City and two apiece in Turin and Vancouver. And they appeared positioned for another strong showing at these Sochi Games. Three of the four American entrants advances to the finals with strong qualifying runs earlier in the day.

But when the sun set and the lights shined brightest on the pipe at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, the Americans faltered. All three riders took spills on both their runs in the finals.

They were not in good shape from the start. In the first run, each botched tricks, none worse than when White landed on the edge of the wall midway through his run. His score at the mid-point was 35.0, 11th in the 12-rider field.

Danny Davis's score of 53.0 put him in 7th place, while Greg Bretz 21.75 had him sitting in last. Like White, Bretz and Davis both fell again on their second run, and neither was ever in contention for a top-3 finish.The American riders were among the most vocal in criticizing the condition of the halfpipe following practice rounds on Sunday and Monday. But White posted the event's highest qualifying score and Davis expressed confidence earlier in the day that riders would be able to successfully navigate the pipes slushy, bumpy surface.

White became the first American man to win three straight Olympic gold medals, joining speed skater Bonnie Blair as only the second U.S. athlete overall. Two-time gold medalist Shani Davis will try to match the feat Wednesday in the 1,000-meter speed skating race.

Bretz, a 23-year old rider appearing in his second Olympics - he finished 12th in Vancouver - rode plenty of momentum into the Sochi Games. In December he beat White at a Dew Tour event in Breckenridge, Colo. He posted the second-best score in the semifinal round Tuesday. But he finished the competition Tuesday in 12th place with a high score of 26.50.

And Davis, a Michigan native competing in his first Winter Games, has been a highly-touted rider since he was a teenager but missed the 2010 Games after he broke his back on an ill-fated, drunken ATV ride. Though White had the mainstream appeal, Davis had always been a strong rider, culminating with his gold medal win at the Winter X-Games two weeks ago in Aspen, Colo. He was considered a medal contender here at the Sochi Games but finished 10th place with a high score of 53.0.

The women's halfpipe is scheduled for Wednesday at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed “unprecedented” legislation yesterday to expand gun rights in his state. Good idea?

Yes. Expanding the scope of where people can carry guns can help halt violent crimes and make those places safer.
No. Carrying guns into bars and schools is NEVER a good idea. I think it will lead to more violence.
Not sure, but I don’t plan to visit Georgia any time soon.
     View Results