Two-time gold medal winner Shaun White will compete in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang next month. The veteran snowboarder earned a perfect score at the U.S. Grand Prix of Snowmass to secure his fourth trip to the Olympics.
Perfect 100 for Shaun White at Snowmass
It’s the second time in his career that the 31-year-old has scored a perfect 100. The first time was in 2012 during the X Games.
White landed a frontside double cork 1440, cab double cork 1080, frontside 540, double McTwist 1260, and frontside double cork 1260 in his final halfpipe run.
Three Americans Qualify for Olympic Snowboarding Team
The competition was a tough one; no snowboarders scored in the 90s until the last five runs.
American Jake Pates hit a score of 94 to move into first, but was quickly surpassed by Australian Scotty James. James’ highly technical run, which included a switch backside 1260, landed him in second place overall. Yoto Totsuka, a 16-year-old from Japan, squeaked past Pates to earn third place with a score of 94.5.
Pates, who finished fourth, and Ben Ferguson, who took fifth, will join White in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
White Still a Favorite for Olympic Gold Medal in 2018
White’s win was impressive considering that the San Diego, CA native was sitting dead last as he entered his final run of the contest.
White said that he’s very proud of his accomplishment, especially after the snowboarding injury he suffered in October 2017. White required 62 stitches on his face; he also bruised his lungs in the scary crash.
“When I was in New Zealand, I ripped my face open trying these tricks,” White said. “It’s been a long recovery from that getting to this point. Now I feel like I’m on the right course for the Olympics. These were Olympic judges.”
White, Pates, and Ferguson may be joined by a fourth teammate to round out the U.S. Mens Olympic Halfpipe team in Pyeongchang. At the coaches’ discretion, a fourth member could be added to the team after the final qualifier in Mammoth, CA next weekend. Danny Davis and Chase Josey are likely Olympic prospects.
Perfect 100 scores like White’s, while not unprecedented, are rare in the sport of snowboarding. They’re often symbolic as well, indicating that the judges feel something monumental has happened.