Carlsbad’s Shaun White Grabs the Gold Medal
Shows Off Spectacular ‘Double McTwist’ After Clinching Gold
Carlsbad’s current favorite son, Shaun White, all 5’8” and 140 pounds of him, had just clinched the gold after his first run down the Olympic snowboard half-pipe. He had the trick in the bag, along with an Olympic gold medal. He was already assured of defending his Olympic title with a score of 46.8 on his first run, but he hadn’t done the ‘secret’ move that he had been practicing for months in his hideaway prior to the Olympics, claiming he was a bit nervous. But if he was nervous it surely didn’t show.
Soaring over 25 feet above the halfpipe at the top, linking a pair of spiraling, double-flipping moves in the middle and staying on his feet the whole way down, there was little doubt that White had the Gold Medal wrapped up.
Getting ready to close the night, he debated with his coaches for a minute. “He had to take a moment to collect himself, take several breaths to let out some screams and shouts and really celebrate,” U.S. coach Mike Jankowski said later. Then Shaun White made the decision. Heck, why not go for it, right? Snowboarding is supposed to be fun, right? So White decided to wrap up his spectacular night with his now signature move during a victory lap that will go likely be remembered for years to come.
At first he it looked as though he wouldn’t be able to pull it off. White started the final run by linking two easier versions of the move. As he was going into his final jump, you could clearly see he lost speed as he set up the double ‘McTwist’. I didn’t think he had nearly enough speed to even attempt it, but wasn’t surprised he went for it anyway.
To the delight of screaming fans, friends and family, he jerked his body around to barely squeeze in the last half of the 3 1/2 twists he crams into two head-over-heels flips. It wasn’t exactly perfect, but nobody cared.
“I wanted a victory lap that would be remembered,” White said. “I achieved that.”
Ever wonder what it takes to learn a trick like that?