Shaun White's quest to earn his 16th gold medal at the X Games not only took a detour on Thursday night, but the snowboarding legend also failed to medal at all in his signature event, the Superpipe.
After deciding against participating in the X Games last year and suffering through a disappointing Olympics, White returned to the X Games but couldn't top the Superpipe event, finishing fourth.
Danny Davis (who defended his gold from 2014) earned a remarkable 93.66 score on the final run of the night to win the event and bump White from the podium. Taku Hiraoka finished second with a score of 92.33, while Iouri Podladtchikov finished third (89.00). White finished with a score of 82.00.
That broke quite the streak for White, per Nick Zaccardi of NBC Sports:
White is certainly the most decorated athlete in X Games history. He came into this year's event with 15 gold medals (13 in snowboarding, two in skateboarding), five silvers and three bronzes. He didn't participate in last year's X Games in order to preserve himself for the Sochi Olympics, however.
Those Olympics didn't go terribly well for White—he withdrew from the Slopestyle competition and finished a disappointing fourth in the halfpipe after winning the event in 2006 and 2010. He addressed his Olympic disappointment before this year's X Games, per Devon O'Neil of ESPN:
It was a frustrating circumstance for me especially. It was a really big deal for me to go back to the Olympics and try to complete the three-peat in halfpipe. I took on a lot, trying to do slope as well as pipe. In hindsight, you can always look back and question what you did, but that was the beauty of being in the hunt of it; that's what was really driving me at that point.
I guess going forward, yeah, why look back? I definitely learned some lessons and I definitely feel better off than before, in a way. I really feel that. I think that for me it was a learning experience, and I'm pumped to be riding still.
Still, with a number of other business ventures and occupations, some folks were starting to question just how much of a priority his snowboarding career had become. And while White seems like the type of athlete who defies age, there is something to be said for the following tweet from ESPN Stats & Information:
The White doubters probably weren't persuaded to change their stance on Thursday night. The Reign of White is now beset by multiple challengers to the throne, and it isn't going to be easy for him to regain his perch atop the snowboarding world.
Davis and Podladtchikov (the gold-medal winner in Sochi) are viable contenders to rule over the pipe now. White is going to have to claw his way back to the top.