Shaun White’s Bumpy Ride Back to the Top

In White’s world, there is usually no various other excuse for not winning — not a slushy halfpipe or just an off night. His loss (in addition to which’s what he called which, not a fourth-place finish, in addition to which’s probably what he would likely have called a silver medal, too) was part of what motivated him to try again.

The segment via there in Sochi to here in Pyeongchang, via age 27 to age 31, was both the hardest in addition to the most rewarding. He rebooted by shedding many of the people around him.

“I got a completely new PR person, a completely new manager, a completely new agency, a physical therapist,” White said. “I started out working out for once in my life, I’ll admit.”

The time was not without controversy. White was accused by a former bandmate of producing sexual remarks to her in addition to producing her watch “sexually disturbing videos,” in addition to reached an undisclosed settlement with her last May.

White declined to discuss the case during a news conference Wednesday afternoon, hours after his gold medal victory.

“I’m here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip,” he said. “I feel like I’ve addressed which.”


White after winning the gold medal at the Turin Games in 2006.

Vincent Laforet for The completely new York Times

In October, White crashed during practice in completely new Zealand in addition to smashed his face. His blood stained the pipe, in addition to Thomas would likely not look at him. White said he did not recognize himself within the mirror. He needed 62 stitches on his face, lips in addition to tongue.

“I completely separated my face,” White said on Wednesday. There were slight scars on his forehead in addition to his nose.

The accident made him reconsider his Olympic ambitions. His family reminded him which he had nothing more to prove. He had gold medals in addition to plenty of money.

“I’m thinking what does This specific mean?” White said. “We were on such a great path, in addition to which was which true question of, like: Do I definitely want This specific? Stepping out on the snow again means which I’m willing to let This specific happen to myself again. in addition to which’s a big decision.”

He came back. Few were sure how Great he could be, given his age, injury in addition to relatively few competitions. Then he won an event to qualify for the team (winning that has a 100-point score). He won the qualifiers on Tuesday in what might right now be the second-best halfpipe contest in history, behind the one the next day.

White thought he might have won which within the first of three rounds, when judges awarded him 94.25 points. He watched Hirano, the silver medalist in Sochi in addition to long considered an heir apparent to White, take the lead within the second round that has a run which included back-to-back 1440s.

White knew he had to do which, too, even though he never had, he said.

“You could come up on any various other day, when all these people aren’t here, in addition to ask me to do which, in addition to I’d be terrified,” he said, a rare admission of fear. “Because there’s no motivation. yet when you’ve got the Olympics, in addition to you’ve got the dye on the pipe in addition to the planet watching, there was no doubt in my mind I was going to do the trick. I just had to land which.”

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