White wins USA’s 100th winter gold, gets grilled by media

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PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — Shaun White stared down the halfpipe before his final Olympic run and had no doubt what would happen next.

“I honestly knew I had it,” White said. “I knew I had to put it down.”

Put it down he did, soaring and spinning Wednesday through a half-dozen near flawless tricks — including back-to-back 1440s for the first time in his life — en route to his record third halfpipe gold medal.

White won with a score of 97.75 and wept at the bottom of the halfpipe. It marked White’s return to the top of the sport after a disappointing fourth-place finish at the 2014 Sochi Games.

The snowboarding great received heaps of praise for his gutsy run, but also criticism on social media and questions in a news conference about a sexual misconduct lawsuit filed against him in 2016. White dismissed the allegations as “gossip” and declined to address the matter further.

White’s gold was also the 100th overall for the United States in the Winter Olympics — all four American golds this year have been won by snowboarders.

The U.S. might have gotten gold No. 101, but Mikaela Shiffrin’s bid for multiple medals at the Pyeongchang Olympics was delayed once again when the women’s slalom was postponed because of strong winds. It’s the third time in four days an Alpine skiing race was put on hold because gusts made it too dangerous for competition.

The women’s individual biathlon was also postponed because of wind, and the weather also led officials to evacuate the Olympic Park in the coastal city of Gangneung.

In figure skating, the Chinese duo of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong are in first place after the pairs short program. Russian skaters Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov were a close second to the Chinese — .71 points behind. Canada’s Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford were third. Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim of the United States struggled and were in 14th place.

WHITE DISMISSES “GOSSIP”

White’s post-gold news conference got contentious when reporters questioned him about the lawsuit. Lena Zawaideh, a former drummer in his band, claimed in the lawsuit White sexually harassed her, forced her to watch pornography and refused to pay her after she was fired. The suit was settled last spring.

White was asked if the allegations might tarnish his reputation.

“I’m here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip and stuff,” he said. “I don’t think so.”

Reporters attempted to follow up about the lawsuit, but U.S. Snowboarding and Freeskiing event director Nick Alexakos shut them down.

White immediately left the stage following the conference while reporters continued to question him.

“I have to get to the medal ceremony,” he said while being ushered away by Alexakos.

WINDIER OLYMPICS

This latest postponement for Shiffrin could complicate her effort to enter up to five individual events, as she’ll now have less time to rest and prepare between them. She’ll no longer get full days off between each race if she tries to do them all and would have to compete Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week to …read more

Source:: Nationalpost

      

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