Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Legendary Shaun White could set Team USA milestone in men's halfpipe

Legendary Shaun White could set Team USA milestone in men's halfpipe

Shaun White advanced to the halfpipe final at the Winter Olympics after an nearly flawless run in Pyeongchang on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Shaun White aims for a third Olympic snowboarding gold in the halfpipe, which would be the ideal way for the Flying Tomato to recover from disappointment in Sochi.

White earned a almost flawless score of 98.5 in his second run in the qualifying round on Tuesday, giving him the top spot in the halfpipe finals.

James, the 2017 world champion, simply went through the motions as he progressed to Wednesday's final, posting a score of 89.00 on his first run before completing qualifying with a 96.75 to be second on the overall standings.

The American snowboarder earned gold in the halfpipe competition in both 2006 and 2010 but finished fourth in 2014.

What was supposed to be a more subdued qualifier for the men's snowboard halfpipe turned into a game of one-upmanship Tuesday at the PyeongChang Olympics. White left the course after posting a 98.5, the best score in the field.

"Dude's always going big", said Ben Ferguson, White's US teammate.

White received a flawless 100 - an exceptionally rare feat - for his final run at last month's U.S. Grand Prix of Snowmass in Colorado, a run that clinched another shot at the Olympics for him.

Year-old Redmond Gerard grabs first gold for U.S. in slopestyle final
The US has not had to wait until the second day of an Olympic Games - Summer or Winter - to win its first gold medal since 1998. Gerard and Kotsenburg spoke at X Games two weeks ago, but not really about the Olympics , and have been texting this past week.

White had the best score in run 1 of qualification, posting a 93.25 at Phoenix Snow Park.

White was one of four Americans to qualify for the final, joining Ben Ferguson, Chase Josey and Jake Pates.

"I have openly said (to the judges), this is not what you do", awarding 100s, said Scotty James, an Australian who is one of White's main rivals.

White's fans held their collective breath last week when he suffered a crash that required nine stitches.

"I've got a lot more to give".

"I'm like "OK, if we're going there, we're going there". "Absolutely. I expected to Shaun to come out and put a run down like that. I gotta just let it happen and I did".

After his struggles four years ago, he's found a renewed love for the sport.

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