If you are trying to stay in the Sochi TV viewing bubble, and want to watch the event sans results, versus finding out the winners on social media, stop reading. If, like me, you have given up since the NBC broadcasts are long delayed from the speedy twitter-sphere, here you go. Shaun White did not three peat for Gold, he did not even medal, finishing fourth in his third consecutive Olympic halfpipe snowboard competition at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
The redhead's reign as halfpipe champ since 2006 now passes to a Swiss snowboarder, Iouri Podladtchikov, I-Pod for short. I-Pod grabbed Gold with his trademark flip he calls YOLO. Japan's Ayumu Hirano, the youngest competitor at age 15, and Taku Hiraoka won silver and bronze respectively. White fell twice in his first run, and just didn't have the stuff to seize his three consecutive Golds. US Teammates Danny Davis and Greg Bretz were 10th and 12th - so no big show from the country where snowboarding originated. Previously Americans had won eight of the 12 snowboard halfpipe medals since 1998 when it became an official Winter Olympic event.
Davis and White had both expressed concerns with Sochi's halfpipe, Davis actually referenced it as garbage. White said his practice run had been pretty terrible. White had withdrawn from snowboard slopestyle to focus solely on the pipe, and that worked out for US Teammate Sage Kotsenburg who won that Gold. In women's slopestyle snowboarding, American Jamie Anderson grabbed the Gold, representing our two Golds in the Games so far. Now the pressure is on Kelly Clark in tomorrow's halfpipe. Nothing is given at these Sochi Olympics, especially not Gold. I am sure Bode Miller would concur. Go Team USA. Oh, don't tell my husband about Shaun White yet, he hopes to watch without knowing the results.
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.