Shaun White: Another Superpipe Gold Will Cement Status as X-Games King

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIJanuary 25, 2013

May 26, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Shaun White in attendance during the third quarter in game seven of the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden.  Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Shaun White is a dominating star in his sport—which is namely snowboarding. Just like the last five SuperPipe competitions, White will be competing for a gold in this year's finals at the Winter X-Games.

But a win for White would be redundant in terms of Winter X-Games lore. He's already the best there, and no one can deny that.

White needs gold this year to put a final stamp on the event that he put on the map. And if he can do that, he'll arguably become the best athlete to ever rule the X-Games.

White's legacy at the Winter X-Games is well documented.

This year he'll be competing for his sixth-straight SuperPipe gold—as well as his eighth overall. White has a dominating 17 medals at the Winter X Games, 12 of which are gold.

Outside of his eight golds in the SuperPipe event, White also has five Slopestyle golds.

The 26-year-old superstar will compete in the Slopestyle finals this year—the first time since 2009. A double gold at this year's games would be a huge success.

But Slopestyle isn't the event he dominates, so it's not a must win. That's the SuperPipe.

White has made this event his bread-and-butter. Outside of going for a six-peat, you can be sure White will be going all out this year.

He posted the events first-ever perfect 100 in last year's finals. With the competitive drive White possesses, anything short of another perfect this year would feel like a failure.

But taking it all won't be easy. This year, plenty of other competitors can give White a run for his money.

24-year-old Iouri Podladchikov will look to finally beat White in the event—he won silver in 2012. I-Pod won the qualifier with an 87.33 on his two runs—White had an 87.0.

Also making waves is 14-year-old Ayumu Hirano from Japan—the youngest person to ever qualify for the finals.

The competition continues to get tougher, and White's ridiculous streak could be broken any year now. If he could win this year, it would surely prove he's still the sport's best.

But we're not just talking Winter X-Games here. We're talking best X-Games athlete of all time.

White doesn't have the highest medal count in X-Games history. That still belongs to Dave Mirra and his 24 medals.

However, White is close. Outside of his 17 medals in the winter games, he also has five medals in the Summer X-Games—giving him 22 total.

A double medal in this year's Winter X-Games would tie him with Mirra, and a medal in at least the SuperPipe—almost a given—would pull him within one.

In 2003, White became the first ever in the history of the X Games to earn gold in both the winter (Slopestyle, SuperPipe) and summer (Vert) games.

He repeated that feat in 2011, once again taking gold in the SuperPipe and Vert competitions.

And even though it has nothing to do with X-Games lore, it's still worth noting that White has two Olympic gold medals and is the only person to ever gold during both the summer and winter Dew Tours.

White is the best Winter X-Games athlete of all-time—that's an absolute. But his status as best overall X-Games athlete is not yet secure.

A gold in the SuperPipe—his event, an event that he put on the map—would surely be the first step in securing such an epic legacy.