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Shaun White in the running for double-gold

Michael Appelgate
The Aspen Times
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

For his last run of the night, Shaun White didn’t attempt a trick.

Instead the Carlsbad, Calif., product waved to the crowd, and coasted down the superpipe, content with his second place finish.

He led after the first round of the snowboard superpipe event with an 88, and then Swiss competitor, Iouri Podladtchikov surpassed White by 0.33.

No matter, White will still compete for two gold medals this weekend.

White also qualified for the snowboard slopestyle final Thursday afternoon, but in a much different fashion than the superpipe. White was fifth after the first round with a 67.33.

His run was clean, highlighted by a switch backside 1080 and a half cab front side 1080. Defending gold medalist Mark McMorris, however, looked like he was a step above White.

McMorris calmly posted an 88.66 – the highest mark of the day.

Peetu Piiroinen of Finland, last year’s bronze medalist, finished second with an 81.33, while White, 26, finished seventh after crashing during his second run on the third jump of the slopestyle course, attempting a cab 1260.

Last year’s silver medalist, Sage Kotsenburg, of Park City, Utah, failed to qualify after falling on both of his runs and finishing 13.

White hasn’t medaled in the slopestyle since 2009, and had to drop out of the competition last year because of a sprained ankle.

He will have to improve his tricks to keep pace with McMorris, who is seven years younger than White (19). The slopestyle final is Saturday at noon.

In the evening, he returned to what some call his home turf.

White didn’t disappoint in his first run of the night in the superpipe, soaring more than 19 feet out of the pipe for a backside method. He followed that up with a frontside double cork 1080, a cab double cork 1080, frontside 540, backside 900 and an ally-oop rodeo. He averaged about 13 feet of air out of the pipe, and moved into first place with an 88.

In comparison, Louie Vito, who qualified eighth, achieved a top height of 11 feet on one jump.

Podladtchikov, last year’s silver medalist, downed White’s mark in the superpipe with a backside method, frontside 900, backside 900, frontside double cork 1080 and a cab double cork 1080.

After the Swiss rider completed his run, White dropped into the pipe at high speed, and then pulled up to coast down the center.

White will compete for his sixth straight gold medal in the superpipe Sunday at 7:45 p.m.

mappelgate@aspentimes.com


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