All eyes on the United States in snowboarding
Shaun White participated in one event – the halfpipe – and put on an incredible show at the 2010 Olympics. The American, who won gold at the 2006 Games, capped his gold-medal performance in Vancouver by perfectly executing his famed Double McTwist 1260 move on his final run. Teammate Scotty Lago was third in the event. Seth Wescott was the other American standout, as he won the men’s snowboard cross title.
Hannah Teter and Kelly Clark led the U.S women with silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the halfpipe behind Australian Torah Bright. American Lindsey Jacobellis, the three-time world snowboard cross champion, landed awkwardly in her semifinal race, went off the course and failed to make the final, erasing any hope of making up for her infamous 2006 miscue.
|2010 Final Medal Standings||Gold||Silver||Bronze||Total|
White steals the show
After securing the men’s halfpipe title in his first of two runs in the final, American Shaun White didn’t have to do much in his second run. But after thinking about it and talking with his coaches, he decided to put on a show.
White executed two double-flipping tricks to open his final run, and closed it with his signature move that he has dubbed “The Tomahawk.” Technically called a Double McTwist 1260, White nailed the trick – although he had to force himself to finish the last spin before landing on the downslope of the pipe. White started working on the move, considered the hardest snowboarding trick in the world, about a year before the Olympics. His sponsor, Red Bull, later built him a private halfpipe in Colorado, where he continued perfecting the trick. White debuted the move at a 2009 competition in Utah.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Model Olympian: Shaun White
A Bright Day for Australia
Australia’s Torah Bright went from worst to first to win the women’s halfpipe gold medal in Vancouver.
Bright fell in run 1 of the final, leaving her last in the standings and forcing her to hustle back up to the top of the halfpipe in order to go first in run 2. After finishing her run, a 30-minute wait followed as she watched the rest of the field compete. No one touched her leading score of 45 points and she earned the title.
Bright’s victory was even more special because her parents traveled from Australia to watch her compete – without telling her. They were even forced to hide in a closet at her Olympic house when she got back from a training session the day before the halfpipe competition. She saw them in the stands after her victory and told reporters, “[I] burst into tears. I told them to stay home. But it's the Olympics. Of course they were going to come."
Jacobellis fails again
For the second straight Olympics, American Lindsey Jacobellis went home without a gold medal. Four years earlier in Torino, she slipped from gold to silver when she fell attempting a showboating move late in the final race. In Vancouver, she entered the Games still the dominant figure in snowboard cross, but was again denied a title. Jockeying for position in her semifinal heat with Canada’s Maelle Ricker, Jacobellis was edged off course and made contact with a gate, resulting in disqualification. The incident cost Jacobellis a spot in the final; she won the 5-8 consolation final to place fifth overall.
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