Shaun White Falls in YOLO Attempt, Loses to I-Pod, Finishes Fourth at Olympic Halfpipe

by at . Comments

Olympic snowboarding king Shaun White lost to a kid they call the "I-Pod" and finished fourth in the halfpipe Tuesday, making for a shocker in Sochi.

That's right, he didn't even win a medal in the event he dominated and won gold in during the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics. White finished fourth.

The 27-year-old American, who opted out of the Olympic slopestyle debut, put all his chips in the halfpipe, where he hoped to win a third straight gold.

Iouri Podladtchikov, a.k.a. "I-Pod" and the Russian-born inventor of the "YOLO" trick that White could not master, took first place in a mammoth upset.

The Japanese pair of Ayumu Hirano and Taku Hiraoka won silver and bronze, as the Americans were shockingly shut out on the halfpipe for the first time.

I-Pod's "YOLO" stunt, which stands for You Only Live Once, set the bar high for White, who has previously owned the halfpipe to a ridiculous extent.

I-Pod scored an 86.5 in his first run - clearly in medal contention - and then came the run that won it. The trick includes a total of 1440 degrees of spin.

That's two head-over-heels flips and two 360-degree turns! Four years ago, it was unthinkable. But not anymore. Except White couldn't match it this week.

I-Pod landed it and even though he only did five tricks, when most riders were trying six in a supersized, super-slushy halfpipe, the judges liked what they saw.

It put huge pressure on White, a.k.a. The Flying Tomato, whose last two final runs at the Olympics have been nothing more than victory rides. Not this time.

White's first attempt at the YOLO ended with a fall straight on his backside. Then he tried to pull off another of his double-cork tricks but missed that, too.

His board and backside getting caught on the lip of the pipe in an awkward and certainly painful fall. Later, he skidded down the slope once more.

When his fourth-place score, a 90.25 came up, he broke into a big smile. He gave Podladtchikov a big hug and fatherly mussed his hair. That kid earned it.

Even the king had to bow down on this day.

Tags: , ,