After taking a spill in his first run of the men’s snowboarding half-pipe competition, Shaun White was able to deliver on his second run, punching his ticket into the finals in what is expected to be his final Olympic Games.
White, who announced earlier this month that he intends to retire from Olympic competition after the Beijing Games conclude, fell on his first run in the two-run qualifying stage of the half-pipe event.
Needing to beat a 58.5 on his second run, White managed to do significantly better than that, vaulting himself into the final with this run:
the run gave White a score of 86.25, propelling him into fourth place.
Japan’s Ayumu Hirano finished in first in qualifying, with Australia’s Scotty James finishing second. Americans Taylor Gold, who finished seventh, and Chase Josey, who finished 12th, also made the final field of 12.
The final in the event will take place on Friday in Beijing, with a start time of 7:30 p.m. Central time in the United States. White will be looking for his fourth gold medal in the event in the last five Olympics when he drops in for his first run.
The only time that White did not medal in an Olympics came in 2014, when he finished fourth. Ayumu Hirano won the silver medal on that day in Sochi, and he will be one of the 11 competitors trying to keep White from a storybook ending.