Shaun White made history on Wednesday, when he became the first snowboarder ever to garner three gold medals in the Olympics.
White put on a show for the fans during his third run of the men’s halfpipe final, which earned him a score of 97.75, and the gold medal.
The US snowboarder was quite emotional after hearing his score, and finding out that he had overtaken Ayumu Hirano (who scored a 95.25) for the gold medal. He was seen crying afterward, and continued to fight back tears during an interview with an NBC reporter, when he discussed how he felt waiting for the judges’ scores to be announced.
“I was just hoping and praying that hey gave it to me, you know?” White said. “And I’m standing there, and I’m like ‘I’m pretty sure I put it down,’ and they’re taking a little while and I’m trying to not make eye contact with the judges’ booth. I just felt so overwhelmed, honestly. I’ve been through so much to get to this point. People talking about my age, talking about this injury I had in New Zealand I’m still recovering from, and it’s all worth it now.”
White also described how he felt during his run.
“Honestly I just felt it inside, I had it,” he said. “I knew I had to put it down. It’s so hard to describe…it’s the feeling that I knew I had it but I had to still do it. And I’m working my way through the run, trick after trick, and it’s going well, better and better. And I’m riding away and I can’t tell you how amazing it felt. I’m so proud of even my first run out here.”
Part of what makes White so great is that he always remains confident in his abilities, and in hearing what was going through his head during the run, that was clearly the case here as well. White, with his back against the wall, showed that he can overcome obstacles when he turned in that amazing medal-winning run (which sent Twitter into a frenzy) and surpassed Hirano for the gold. Fans have become accustomed to marveling at the snowboarding legend every time he steps foot on the powder.