The 31-year-old pulled off an epic remaining run to avenge the frustration of lacking out on a medal 4 years in the past and add to his legacy following golds in Turin in 2006 and Vancouver in 2010.
White, typically nicknamed the “Flying Tomato” due to his crimson hair, trailed 19-year-old Japanese Ayumu Hirano with one run left at Phoenix Snow Park Wednesday.
But because the final man down he responded in emphatic trend with a run he had by no means unveiled earlier than to turn into essentially the most profitable Olympic snowboarder of all time.
“I’m sure you can tell by my reactions at the bottom of the pipe, but this meant the world to me, and my family, and my team,” stated White, who has additionally received a number of X Games gold medals in snowboarding and skateboarding since turning professional as a 13-year-old.
“Here doing it for USA once more, not solely to be an Olympian once more, however to be a gold medalist once more is unreal.
“I am pleased with myself. I do not say that usually, , it is like I attempt to bury it down in there so I can keep motivated and hungry for the following competitors trigger that is simply how I do issues, however I am actually taking this second to be proud and grateful, and yeah, it feels nice.”
White scored a exceptional 98.50 out of 100 to guide after qualifying, and maintained his momentum with a prime rating of 94.25 within the opening spherical of Wednesday’s remaining.
But Hirano went in entrance in run two with a rating of 95.25, which included back-to-back 1440s — two consecutive jumps spinning via 1440 levels — seen as one of many hardest tips within the sport.
White fell on his second run, however saved his finest for final and included his trademark double McTwist 1260 alongside his personal back-to-back 1440s for the primary time in competitors to attain 97.75.
Afterwards, he credited his rivals, together with Australian Scotty James who took the bronze, with maintaining him on his toes.
“Ayumo put down an incredible run, and I knew I needed to step it up,” White told the BBC. “Last run, stress was on and I put it down, it was nice.
“I am really thankful for those guys, because honestly, they pushed me to get to this point, to do these kind of runs.”
White misplaced his ardour for the game after the frustration of Sochi and took day trip to pursue his enterprise pursuits and play in his band.
But again on the Olympic path, he additionally needed to overcome the bodily and psychological scars of significant harm.
While coaching for Pyeongchang in New Zealand in October, White crashed on the lip of the halfpipe and suffered severe facial accidents which required 62 stitches.
“He ripped his face in half, more or less, and you can still see the scars,” the Associated Press quoted White’s coach, JJ Thomas, as saying. “And I don’t know if anyone else in this world has the mental strength to overcome that fear and lay it down on the world stage. It’s amazing. He’s legendary.”
White’s historic achievement was lauded by fellow Olympic legends, together with swimmer Michael Phelps, sprinter Michael Johnson and gymnast Nadia Comaneci, the primary gymnast to be awarded an ideal rating of 10.zero on the Olympics.
The Americans had entered the Games with 96 gold medals. With the anticipated gold rush of skier Mikaela Shiffrin on maintain for one more day when excessive winds postponed the ladies’s large slalom scheduled for Wednesday, all of its 4 gold medals in South Korea have thus far been received in snowboarding.
“The milestone highlights Team USA’s sustained competitive excellence, dating back to the first Olympic Winter Games in 1924 in Chamonix, France,” the US Olympic Committee stated in an emailed press launch.
The US staff now trails solely Norway (118 going into PyeongChang 2018) within the whole of Winter Olympics gold medals.
During a short change of focus in White’s victorious press convention he was compelled to confront earlier allegations of sexual harassment by the previous drummer of his band “Bad Things.”
The snowboarder has beforehand admitted to sending lewd textual content messages to Lena Zawaideh, and the events later reached an undisclosed settlement.
Asked whether or not the accusations would tarnish his legacy, White stated: “You know honestly I’m here to talk about the Olympics not gossip … but I don’t think so.”
“I am who I am and I’m proud of who I am and my friends, you know, love me and vouch for me and I think that stands on its own.”
White additionally apologized for showing to path the US flag via the snow throughout his celebrations.