Shaun White Moves Closer to Fifth Olympic Berth, Defeats US Counterpart to Reach Finals

Published 01/13/2022, 1:37 PM EST
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 13: Shaun White of the United States reacts after his run during the Snowboard Men’s Halfpipe Qualification on day four of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 13, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)


The 3-time Olympic gold medalist, Shaun White, is battling hard for a fifth historic appearance at the Winter Games. Notably, irrespective of the result of his qualifiers, this will be the last we will see of Shaun on the big stage.

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Hence, not wanting to take any chances, Shaun White flew to Switzerland to take part in the LAAX Open.

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Proving himself yet again, White successfully made it to the finals, thereby improving his ranking.

Shaun White is one step closer to Beijing 2022

After a wonderful performance, Shaun White is currently ranked 4th in America. There are 4 spots on the US Team, and White is trying his level best to make it.

However, because of an injury, he could not take part in the final qualifier. Citing recovery concerns, he had to step down from participating at Mammoth Mountain.

This meant that he was at risk of not making the final team unless he maintained his 4th ranking. Therefore, White decided to participate in the LAAX Open in Switzerland.

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 14: Gold medalist Shaun White of the United States poses during the victory ceremony for 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)

At the LAAX Open, White beat Chase Blackwell to grab his rightful spot.

This means that White has maintained his 4th ranking, for now, inching closer to a spot on the US Team for Beijing 2022. If he wins, White will be in a much better position.

Meanwhile, Taylor Gold has secured the first spot on the US Team. The LAAX Open finals on Saturday will see White competing against Japan’s Ayumu Hirano and Australia’s Scotty James.

No more taking chances for White

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Going to the LAAX Open was a last-minute decision for White. Notably, the 35-year-old revealed that he did not want to rely on luck and receive a ‘coach’s discretionary’ pick and grab the spot on his own merit.

 “I didn’t want to leave it to chance or question or a vote or something,” said White.

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 14: Gold medalist snowboarder Shaun White of the United States speaks during a press conference at the Main Press Centre during the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 14, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

Whether or not he makes it to the team, this will be White’s last Olympic Games. As he bows out, the 3-time Olympic champion will hope to make it to Beijing and add a fourth medal to his tally.

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Richa Goswami

269 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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