Winter X Games 16: Shaun White Will Cruise to 5th Straight SuperPipe Title

Austin GreenCorrespondent IJanuary 29, 2012

ASPEN, CO - JANUARY 29:  Shaun White soars above the spectators as he competes in men's snowboard superpipe elimination during Winter X Games 2012 at Buttermilk Mountain on January 29, 2012 in Aspen, Colorado. White finished first to advance to the finals.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Shaun White is riding on a bum ankle, but that won't stop him from winning his fifth straight SuperPipe title at Winter X Games 16.

White's status for the event was in jeopardy after he sprained his left ankle during Thursday's practice. The injury forced him to sit out of Saturday's Slopestyle, but he wouldn't let it keep him from competing in the event that he owns.

In the SuperPipe elimination round, White threw down one of the most casually filthy runs I've ever seen.

He opened it up with a huge backside air, flashing his trademark amplitude coming out of the pipe. He followed that up with a frontside 1080 double cork and a Cab 1080 double cork, before finishing with a frontside 540 stalefish, an incredibly easy-looking backside 900, and a simple nosegrab.

It was the quintessential elimination run from White. He kept it relatively safe, but he stomped his more complicated tricks and got the big air that we're accustomed to seeing from him. 

The snowboarding icon once again proved that his B game is better than everybody else's A game. He stepped into the pipe with a hurt ankle and less practice time than everybody else, but still posted the best run by far. White took first in the round, earning a score of 88.66.

I'm expecting him to step his game up in the finals, which start at 9:45 (ET) on Sunday night.

White has an undeniable flair for the dramatic and a new addition to his bag of tricks. In one of his warm-up runs, he busted out a nasty frontside double cork 1260 that he's surely saving for the big stage.

Although he's not at 100 percent, White will still claim his fifth straight SuperPipe crown and 12th career Winter X Games gold medal. 

At this point, there's no reason to doubt him.