Shaun White Finishes 8th, Olympic Qualification still in Question

Published 12/12/2021, 7:13 AM EST
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 14: Shaun White of the United States celebrates after his third run during the Snowboard Men’s Halfpipe Final on day five of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics at Phoenix Snow Park on February 14, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

As the qualifications for Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 take off, all eyes are set on Shaun White. The 3 times Olympic gold medalist is the most experienced player out there when it comes to snowboarding. A lot of expectations are on him, as he looks to bring another medal home.

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On Saturday, the season’s first qualifying event was held. Moreover, White finished in 8th place. This means he will have to wait one more week to get another chance to qualify again.

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The question of a 4th Olympic medal looming over Shaun’s head

This year, a total of 238 athletes are all set to qualify for the snowboarding event. Moreover, a maximum of 26 athletes can come representing one country, with 14 per gender.

Every athlete must have a minimum number of FIS points along with a top 30 finish at a World Cup event during the qualification period.

ASPEN, COLORADO – MARCH 21: Shaun White of the United States takes a training run for the men’s snowboard halfpipe final during Day 4 the Land Rover U.S. Grand Prix World Cup at Buttermilk Ski Resort on March 21, 2021 in Aspen, Colorado. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

On Saturday, the first halfpipe qualifying event was held at the U.S Grand Prix. Even though White was the most favorite player, he failed to lock any of the spots on the podium and came in 8th place. This means that his ticket to Beijing is still in question.

The next qualifying event will only be held in a week’s time. White will have to give it his all to make sure he makes the US Team for the Winter Olympics. With so many young snowboarders around the world, it has actually become difficult for White to keep up with their skills.

Will Shaun White make the final team?

Taylor Gold, the American who finished 5th on Saturday, revealed how extremely hard it is to grab a spot on the team to the finals.

“It’s always really hard,” said Gold. “The U.S. team is super deep and there’s a lot of young guys on it right now. So just to make the team is a huge accomplishment.”

Shaun White actually performed quite well. But over the years, the standard of snowboarding has been rising. This means that there were others who performed way better.

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Even though White flew as high as any of the other finalists, his runs had issues. On his last try, White fell on the first jump.

Meanwhile, Ruka Hirano of Japan has grabbed the first spot with a run of 89.95, followed by Jan Scherrer of Switzerland and Yuto Totsuka of Japan.

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The final qualifiers will be held at Mammoth Mountain in January.

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Richa Goswami

552 articles

Richa Goswami is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. As an adherent learner, she uses her journalistic persona to navigate through new skills. Richa has completed her schooling at Don Bosco.

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