Feb 11 2014, 9:10pm CST | by Poch de la Rosa
"Shaun White lost to a kid they call 'I-Pod,' and now, he may never hear the end of it.
"How big of an Olympic shocker was this? White, the best snowboarder of his era and one of the best-known and best-marketed athletes at the Sochi Games, didn't even win a medal. He finished fourth.
"The 27-year-old American, who opted out of the Olympic slopestyle debut and put all his chips in the halfpipe, where he hoped to win a third straight gold, got knocked off by Iouri Podladtchikov, the Russian-born inventor of the 'Yolo,' the trick that White could not master.
"The Japanese tandem of 15-year-old Ayumi Hirano and 18-year-old Taku Hiaroka won silver and bronze, respectively, and the Americans were shut out in the halfpipe for the first time since the sport was introduced to the Olympics in 1998."
White said,"I'm disappointed. I hate the fact I nailed it in practice, but it happens. It's hard to be consistent."
"White's final run was uncharacteristically sloppy, without a complete fall but with multiple bobbles, and received a score of 90.25, an improvement of his first run in which he fell twice, but only good enough for fourth place.
"White had been trying to become the first American man to win the same winter event in three consecutive Games. Speedskater Shani Davis will try to accomplish that feat in the 1,000 on Wednesday."
White said he will spend some time with his family and then focus on his band's next tour, Passan adds.
"I will go and see my family and reflect. I'm planning to go out and play some music. I have got a tour to look forward to."
On the other hand, Podladtchikov, who garnered a score of 94.75 in his final run, celebrated by tossing his snowboard, per Jones.
He was able to get an 86.5 in his first run of the final round but it was clearly his famous trick -- the Yolo -- that did it for him in his second. He spun a total of 1,440 degrees, consisting of two head-over-heels flips and two 360-degree turns to clinch the gold medal.
He said,"It all was meant to be. I was in a position where I was throwing down my hardest tricks with ease, it was like...there is no word for that."
Podladtchikov also told The Associated Press he's been watching videos of White exeucuting his own trick and was amazed at what he saw.
"I saw videos of Shaun doing it really well. I got bummed, said,'Damn, that's my trick and he's doing it better than me,' Today, I guess I was doing it a little better."
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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