McTwist seals gold for Shaun White

To no one’s surprise, American Shaun White repeated as the gold medallist in the men’s halfpipe final on Wednesday night at Cypress Mountain.

After posting a score of 46.8 out of 50 on his first run of the finals, White was never challenged, his nearest competitor being fellow American Scott Lago, four points behind.

The rest of the field struggled in the second run leaving the door wide open for White who had won gold even before completing his final set of tricks.

Lago took the bronze while Peetu Piiroinen of Finland finished with the silver medal.

Louis Vito was the only American left off the podium, finishing in 5th place and preventing a U.S sweep.

Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov known on the snowboard tour as “I-pod,” was in good position for a medal but went down on his last jump.  He was believed to be the stiffest competition for White after defeated him to win the halfpipe World Cup title in 2008.

The man known as the “Flying Tomato” because of his long bright red hair is the highest financial grossing athlete at the Games.  Bob Simmons of 60 Minutes reported that White makes between eight and 10-million dollars a year, which based on his performance, is well deserved.

The only question left was if White would attempt the incredibly difficult and dangerous trick, the Double McTwist 1260.  The trick was invented by White and consists of 3.5 resolutions and a double flip.

The packed grandstand at the base of Cypress rose to their feet, and he did not disappoint, landing the trick with ease and finesse earning him a 48.4 on his final run.        

This is one of the first tricks I’ve ever really been proud of,” he said to the Associated Press. “I’ve always done certain tricks that have been done by someone else before. This here has been my first chance to actually invent something.”

Canadian Justin Lamoureux had a clean second run posting a score of 35.9 but was never in medal contention.  He is the oldest competitor in men’s halfpipe history and this was likely his final Olympic appearance.