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Tag: Shaun White (1-3 of 3)

Olympics recap, Day 5: Shaun White's bum run, Russia's record-breaking pairs skate, and Sochi's biggest luger

In retrospect, the haircut might have been a bad idea.

Tonight’s biggest Sochi story: The sad saga of two-time Olympic halfpipe champion Shaun White, which NBC is hoping fervently you hadn’t heard about before primetime. The Flying Tomato came to Russia hoping to add another gold medal to his collection — but will leave instead with a disappointing fourth-place finish. Was White’s downfall telegraphed when he sheared off his glorious, Sampson-esque locks? Could a subpar halfpipe course — riddled with bumps and slushy patches — be to blame? Was snowboard’s elder statesman simply no match for a younger, dashing Swiss-Russian armed with an awesome nickname (I-Pod), a hashtag-inspired signature move (the “YOLO Flip”), and his own striking head of hair?

The world may never know. In the end, all that matters is that White had a killer run in the event’s qualifying round — scoring a spectacular 95.75 — but failed to impress in the finals, handing the victory to 25-year-old Orlando Bloom lookalike Iouri Podladtchikov. The Swiss boarder’s winning run scored a 94.75; if White had flipped and landed as well as he did earlier in the day, he’d have gotten that threepeat. But even if you’re a White fan, it’s tough to grumble about I-Pod’s triumph. Just look how ecstatic he was to snag the gold!

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Olympics: What to watch today

The Olympics: So many sports, so little time. Need help deciding which events to watch? We’re here to help. Each day, we’ll give you our three picks for the most watch-worthy events. Here’s what we recommend for Tuesday, Feb. 11:

WOMEN’S SPEEDSKATING 500M GOLD MEDAL FINAL
1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN
Korea’s Sang Hwa Lee is the defending gold medalist in this event and is expected to win again… but not if American Heather Richardson gets to the finish line first. READ FULL STORY

Olympics preview: Shaun White sets out to threepeat in halfpipe

Today, Feb. 11, Shaun White may become the first U.S. man to threepeat at the Winter Olympics. Men’s halfpipe qualification is scheduled to begin at 5 a.m. ET, followed by the semis at 10 a.m. ET and the finals at 12:30 p.m. ET. All will livestream on NBCOlympics.com before airing in primetime on NBC. (That’s assuming, of course, the halfpipe is ridable. Update: It’s a go. If you’re looking for results, click here.)

White has already made headlines in Sochi, dropping out of the inaugural snowboard slopestyle event to keep his focus (and health) for his run at history. Speaking to EW before he left for Russia earlier this month, NBC snowboarding play-by-play guy Todd Harris said he thought White set out January’s X Games to perfect his Olympic run — which everyone is hoping will include his first triple cork landed in competition. “Shaun has a history, obviously, the last two Olympics of showing up and just putting down a first run that no one can touch,” Harris said.

Mastering the dangerous trick hasn’t been kind to 27-year-old White — as in, it landed him in the hospital, so if the halfpipe conditions aren’t right, don’t look for it. “The thing is that there’s no good scenario if he doesn’t land it,” a member of his team said in his recent NBC special Shaun White: Russia Calling. “He’s carted off by ski patrol if he doesn’t land it.” As Harris told EW, “He knows as well as anyone that your body takes a beating when you try to do a new trick. I think it’s simple physics: It comes to a point where your body can only get so much airtime before gravity’s gonna pull you down, and unfortunately, when it pulls you down in a halfpipe, it pulls you down really hard. I think Shaun’s taken a lot of heavy hits this year. As he gets older, I think he’s realizing that his body’s not gonna be 21 for the rest of his life. Even for the great Shaun White, it gets to a point where even he has limits.” READ FULL STORY

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