Shaun White Still Snowboarding's Best with Impressive Show at Winter X-Games
Shaun White leaves Aspen with just one gold around his neck this year. And while it was a somewhat disappointing finish, the fact remains that the Flying Tomato is still snowboarding's best.
White walked away from the 17th Winter X-Games with his eighth career gold in the men's superpipe, and his sixth in a row.
The Winter X-Games king sealed his victory with a 98.0 score, landing a record setting 24'1" backside air in the process.
The disappointing finish came in the men's slopestyle, where White ended the event in just seventh place.
He reached the slopestyle finals this year for the first time since 2009—the year in which he won his fifth slopestyle gold. A double gold would have tied White with Dave Mirra for most medals in X-Games history at 24. Instead, he pulls within one at 23.
After earning the superpipe's first perfect 100 at last year's games by nailing the first ever frontside double cork 1260, it was speculated that White could make a run at the slopestyle gold by landing the first ever triple cork.
While the triple cork was successfully landed in the finals, it was eventual gold medalist Mark McMorris—not White—that hit the trick.
The Flying Tomato did attempt the maneuver, but couldn't land it perfectly.
But just going for the triple cork is impressive, especially for a snowboarder whose been out of slopestyle for so long.
Not to mention White supposedly landed the trick during a practice run earlier in the week, just seven days after learning it (USA Today).
Will White win his seventh superpipe gold in a row during next year's Winter X-Games?
Even though he lost the slopestyle competition, it's obvious that White's desire and competitive edge towards the event is still there. Given a year of practice, it could be just a matter of time until we see White showing off the triple cork during the 18th Winter X-Games.
A double medal there would make him the most decorated athlete in X-Games history.
So while the 26-year-old has yet to make his full return to slopestyle, there's no doubt he's still snowboarding's best. He's still completely untouchable in the superpipe, and to climb back into the slopestyle so quickly is phenomenal.
Even though White leaves the Winter X-Games with just one gold, he still had a record-breaking performance in the superpipe—and a near record-breaking performance in the slopestyle.
His resume now overflowing with gold, there's no doubt Shaun White remains the finest snowboarder the X-Games has ever witnessed.
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