Shaun White, a name long associated with United States Olympic success, earned his third gold medal Wednesday night in PyeongChang.
This is the four Olympics for the 31 year old snowboarder who continued his previous domination in the men’s halfpipe event.
An athlete not used to much competition in his field, White was trailing 19 year old Japanese competitor Ayumu Hirano before attempting the final run of the night.
“I just saw him fist-pumping, and I felt it, too,” Team USA Coach J.J. Thomas said. “He needs this energy. This is his stage. He’s a performer, and this is his stage.”
White’s epic run included two back-to-back 1440s followed by consecutive 1260s that earned him a 97.75 and the gold medal.
As the score flashed on screen in PyeongChang and commentators yelled “White is the new Gold!”, the Californian snowboarder fell to his knees and tears began forming in his eyes.
White’s win also signifies the hundredth gold medal won in US Winter Olympic History.
With this third gold medal under his belt, White’s next Olympic story might not need to wait another four years.
In a press conference after Wednesday’s event, White said “It would mean the world to me to compete in skating” referencing the addition of skateboarding to the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
Despite not competing since the X Games in 2011, White added: “I really do think I could be competitive. It’s like this muscle memory. A lot of tricks here are very similar to skateboarding. I really think I’ve got a great shot.”
White has not ruled out competing in the Beijing 2022 Winter Games either.