WATCH: Shaun White stomps perfect run to punch ticket to Winter Olympics
Leave it to Shaun White to finish with a bang. The two-time Olympic gold medalist is constantly seeking perfection in the halfpipe, and on Saturday at the U.S. Grand Prix in Snowmass, Colo., he accomplished just that to lock up his spot for a fourth Winter Games.
White’s spotless 100-point run, the second of his career, came on the day’s very last run down the halfpipe. Sitting in ninth place, White stomped an absurd 1440 double cork on the first hit and stuck two more 1260 double corks, including one on the last hit.
As soon as he stuck the last trick, White raised both arms in celebration. Behold, halfpipe perfection.
It was a signature moment for White who entered the Snowmass Grand Prix — the third of four Olympic qualifiers this season —halfpipe stop in Breckenridge in December.
It also comes in the wake of anthat nearly derailed White’s run to a fourth Olympics before it even got under way. After clipping the lip of the halftime with his face, White needed 62 stitches to close facial lacerations. He also bruised his lungs.
No rider in the contest cracked 90 before the day’s final five runs before American Jake Pates, from nearby Edwards, Colo., scored a 94 to move into first. Australian Scotty James, who was in last place going into his last run Saturday, flew into second with a 96.25, while 16-year-old Japanese rider Yuto Totsuka edged Pates with a 94.5.
White, who qualified first, got to go last and didn’t disappoint. The only other perfect score in a men’s halfpipe contest? White, of course, for the run he laid down at the 2012 Winter X Games in Aspen. On the women’s side, American Chloe Kim scored a flawless 100 in 2016 at an event in Park City Utah.
After Saturday’s competition, Team USA officials said that Pates and Ben Ferguson of Oregon also secured spots for the Olympic halfpipe squad with White.
The final Olympic qualifier is next weekend at Mammoth Mountain, Calif.