- Church of England allows female bishops
- Obama slammed by black Chicago residents: ‘Worst president ever’
- WHO urges healthy gay men to take HIV prevention drugs, cites ‘exploding epidemics’
- Ukraine: Military plane shot down by rocket
- Ebola crisis in West Africa deepens; 500+ dead
- Propaganda song popular among Central Americans was devised by U.S. Border Patrol
- Sen. Rob Portman: Math is on GOP’s side to win Senate this fall
- Four-time deportee arrested for molesting 9-year-old Texas girl
- Private investigators turn to drones to catch marital cheaters, insurance liars
- Sleep issues can accelerate Alzheimer’s, while mental exercises can delay it, study shows
Snowboard stunner: Shaun White, Team USA fail to medal in Olympic halfpipe
Question of the Day
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Maybe it was all too much. Or maybe just one of those bad nights. That debate will last a long time.
Shaun White stood at the top of the Olympic halfpipe Tuesday night, hunched over, hands resting above his knees. He high-fived his coach, clapped his hands, then jumped in for a ride that would decide if all the calculated choices he had made over a winter full of injuries, distractions and angst would pay off.
One jump, 15 feet above the pipe, was perfect. The second one looked good, too.
Then, the trick they call the “Yolo” — the one a rival invented but White had turned into his own.
His snowboard skittered across the halfpipe on the landing. White finished the run with a flourish and raised his index finger, trying to woo the judges who know, as well as anyone, what he’s done for his sport.
No sale. No medal, either. He finished fourth.
The world’s best-known, most-successful and best-marketed snowboarder lost to a man they call the “I-Pod,” and now, he may never hear the end of it.
“I would definitely say that tonight was just one of those nights,” White said after falling to Iouri Podladtchikov, the 25-year-old Russian-born inventor of the ‘Yolo.’ “The tricks I learned getting ready for the competition will carry on for a couple years in this sport. It’s a bummer. I had one of those nights.”
The Japanese pair of 15-year-old Ayumu Hirano and 18-year-old Taku Hiraoka won silver and bronze, and the Americans were shut out on the halfpipe for the first time since the sport was introduced to the Olympics in 1998.
Almost unthinkable, especially since White joined the mix and won the first of his two gold medals in 2006.
He wanted to win two this year — one in halfpipe and one in the newly introduced sport of slopestyle — but ended up with none.
“In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t the best move, but he’s ambitious,” said Jake Burton, the snowboarding guru and one of White’s very first sponsors. “That’s him. You wouldn’t want to see him trade that in for anything.”
There’s more than one trendsetter in snowboarding, more than one person who likes to “progress the sport,” as they say on the halfpipe.
The effervescent Podladtchikov, who now lives in and competes for Switzerland, thought up the Yolo trick first and landed it first. White watched the replay of I-Pod doing it last March in an event in Europe and immediately saw what he needed to do.
Very quickly, he did it better than Podladtchikov and landed it twice in key events leading up to the Olympics. I-Pod tried it three times at the Winter X Games last month and fell all three times. “Practice,” he called it.
By Robert N. Tracci
Congress must use its appropriations power to secure the border
- DOJ investigates Nebraska parade float critical of Obama
- Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi formerly a U.S. captive
- Violent gang MS-13 taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- A 'new Cold War': China's top paper warns of 'slippery slope' towards conflict with U.S.
- CURL: The hypocrisy of Obama's 15-day Vineyard vacation
- EDITORIAL: The faux farmer in the Senate race in Iowa
- Sen. John McCain on illegal child immigrants: Fly them home, now
- Agency scrubs Malia Obama photos at White House's request: report
- Eric Holder: 'Racial animus' fuels opposition to Obama and me
- Rand Paul to Rick Perry on Iraq: Get some new glasses
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs