U.S. snowboarding icon Shaun White qualified for the halfpipe final at the 2018 Winter Olympics Tuesday, taking an official step to improve on his disappointing fourth-place finish four years ago in Sochi.
White, who has earned two Olympic gold medals in his signature event, had already secured his spot in the halfpipe finals with a score of 93.25 in his first run, but scored an impressive 98.50 in his second. That run placed him above all others in the competitive and talented halfpipe field, which includes gold medal contenders Scotty James of Australia and Ayumu Hirano of Japan.
“I was stoked to put that run down,” White told NBCOlympics.com after the qualification. “That took the pressure and the edge off and then I started seeing everyone putting in these great runs in. I figured I would send it on that last one.”
White’s qualification comes as the U.S. dominates in snowboarding in PyeongChang. U.S. snowboarder Chloe Kim made waves with her stunning halfpipe win Tuesday, and Red Gerard and Jamie Anderson won gold in each of their events earlier in the Games.