What better way to celebrate your gold medal in slope, your new record for most medals, your record number of golds, and record number of slopestyle golds than to win the pipe prelims, like, two hours later. It almost looked too easy for Shaun White tonighthuge airs, big spins, all the ingredients, all on point.
If White comes swinging tomorrow like he did tonight, it's going to take an Obama-like performance from one of the other seven competitorsKevin Pearce with perhaps the best shotto bring him down. Although Pearce isn't having the season he had last year, he did just beat White at the European Open.
And then there's Steve Fisher. Oh. Him. As strong as Fisher looked tonight (he took second), does he have enough to bring Shaun down? Well, Fisher did dethrone King Shaun two years ago at WX 11. So he has that going for him. But I'm not putting my money on it.
Who else? Elijah Teter? Now THAT would be an upset. His runs are technical and among the most enjoyable to watch, but he doesn't have a Winter X win in him. If there were a best switch trick award, it could go to Teter for his switch methods. But there's not.
And Andy Finch? Maybe. He definitely looked good tonight, seemingly came out of nowhere and was boosting in usual Finch style, but he's a wild one, and unpredictable at that. And even though he put together a solid first run, he crashed in his second. He's also having ankle problems. Tough call.
Antti Autti? Actually, he could do it. He's Scandinavian. Never underestimate the Scandos.
Aguirre? Well, it's possible. He brought some game tonight. The amplitude was there, the tricks were there. He might have a chance.
And Vito? He's the ultimate wild card. Don't think that just because he qualified last means that he's not capable of a first place pull.
But yeah, I'm saying: it's them against White. He looked too good tonight to pretend otherwise.
Making the cut:
1. Shaun White
2. Steve Fisher
3. Elijah Teter
4. Mason Aguirre
5. Antti Autti
6. Kevin Pearce
7. Andy Finch
8. Louie Vito