But, he says, it's a good way to roll into the Olympics - a pretty nice opening move in the seemingly impossible mission to unseat White in Sochi.
"Being in a position where I gave Shaun the idea of what comes next? I can't really find words for how precious that is to me," said Podladtchikov, whose last Olympic tuneup comes Sunday in a superpipe final at the Winter X Games that White chose to skip in order to rest. "It's a very huge form of respect by him. That's what makes the journey and my career more beautiful."