Shaun White five-peats in SuperPipe
ASPEN, Colo. -- Shaun White scored the first perfect score in Winter X Games history in Men's Snowboard SuperPipe finals on Sunday, winning his fifth consecutive gold medal -- a first in Snowboard SuperPipe. The victory comes after a left ankle sprain that plagued him earlier in the week forced him to miss the Slopestyle event he had hoped to compete in.
"It's unreal," White said, after scoring 100 out of a possible 100 points on his final run. "I've been wanting that 100 forever. Thank you so much, everybody, tonight. I came here on a mission: I couldn't compete in Slope and it kind of broke me. I didn't know what to do. I was sitting around icing my ankle wondering if I could even ride tonight, and I kind of took out a little bit of that anxiety and anger that I couldn't compete in Slope in the pipe tonight."
White had already sealed up the win in Run 1 after posting a score of 94.00, beating out Swiss rider Iouri Podladtchikov, who came close with a 93.00, and Japan's Ryo Aono. But White was determined to unveil his newest trick, a frontside double cork 1260. He fell attempting the trick in Run 2, then nailed it on the final wall of his victory lap in a run that included a massive 18-foot backside air, a fronstside double cork 1080, a Cab double cork 1080, a frontside stalefish 540, a double McTwist 1260 and the frontside double cork 1260. White is officially the only person to have ever landed a frontside double cork 1260 in competition.
"I was a little upset with my first front double 12 tonight because it just wasn't there and I put my face in the wall," White said. "I was just trying to shake that off and get back up and do it again, and it happened."
Many fans expected Podladtchikov, who is the only person besides White to have successfully landed the double McTwist 1260, to break out a secret weapon of his own: The switch backside 1260. He has only successfully landed it once, this summer in New Zealand. It might have made it a closer competition if he'd tried it, but Podladtchikov said he was content with the run he did complete.
"I'm real happy because I've never put that run down so clean," said Podladtchikov. "I wish I had one more run. I'm just getting warmed up! For me it was my personal best run by far, for sure. I guess it was one of those days."
White has now won the Snowboard SuperPipe every year since 2008, bringing his total Winter X Games medal count to 17 -- 12 of them gold. He also has five X Games medals in Skateboard Vert, two of them gold, and topped the Skateboard Vert podium at X Games 2011 in July. And, of course, he's best known as a two-time Olympic halfpipe gold medalist. He's now looking forward to the Sochi Games in 2014, where he may have an opportunity to compete in both Halfpipe and the debut of Slopestyle as an Olympic medal event.
How will White top a perfect score and a five-peat at Winter X Games? "There's always next year," he answered. In snowboarding there's always room for progression, even after achieving perfection.
Check out full results from the Men's Snowboard SuperPipe finals at Winter X 2012.