Jan 30, 2010, 10:45 AM EDT
Whoa, brah, that was close.
During a practice run on the halfpipe Friday night at the Winter X Games in Aspen (where the beer flows like wine, so I’ve heard), Shaun White totally bit it during his attempt to nail a Double McTwist 1260, smashing his face against the lip of the pipe with such force that his helmet flew off.
But all was not lost. Amazingly, White was not seriously injured, he won his third consecutive gold medal at the Winter X Games in Superpipe later in the evening and by all accounts, looks good to go and no worse for wear – all things considered – heading into the Winter Olympics in two weeks.
Video after the jump.
For those of you out there unfamiliar with snowboard aerials – *cough* poseurs *cough* – a Double McTwist 1260 is a brand-spanking new trick that White came up with just recently and debuted at a Grand Prix practice in Park City, Utah earlier this month. In essence, it consists of White making three-and-a-half rotations while doing two flips. Righteous.
The evolution of the McTwist has gone through a multitude of variations, both in skateboarding and snowboarding, but was originally created by Mike McGill in 1984 and debuted it at the legendary Del-Mar Skate Ranch in San Diego, which has since been demolished, which is totally bogus if you ask me.
Yeah, I was a skateboarder way back when I was a bored, suburban punk, and I actually had the Powell-Peralta Mike McGill Skull & Snake deck – and if I remember correctly, it was the XT Bonite version, even. You wanna fight about it?
Anyhoo, after that self-indulgent trip down memory lane, here’s White’s wreck.
Yikes. After winning gold once again – White posted a winning score of 95.33 during his first of three runs where he nailed a Double McTwist 1260, among other mind-bending aerials, White discussed his epic bite, saying, “I’ve paid my dues for that trick. But it’s worth it,” and adding that “That trick is just a beast of its own. And on some days, it’s just tougher than others.”
Holy crap, you think? But White has the heart of a champion – as well as the mind of madman who clearly has no regard for his well-being – characteristics which should serve him well in Vancouver in a few weeks. Asked about how he could possibly try the Double McTwist so quickly after wrecking, White called it “a weird decision.”
“But I knew I needed to make it and keep going and kind of push through something like this,” he said. “I don’t know. I’m a snowboarder and didn’t want to give up. I cracked my head pretty good. I was pretty dazed after that one.”
Between the end of practice and his first competition run, there was footage of him watching the wreck in super slo-mo, which makes it look worse than in real time.
“Oops. Oooh. Oh my God,” he says, as he throws his hands over his head while watching the gruesome repeat.
Clearly a favorite in Vancouver, well on his way to achieving the status of cultural icon and a multi-millionaire at the ripe old age of 23 (Jebus), White understands how lucky he is to be in this position.
“I was pumped to get it done, to land the trick, to take first tonight and to actually walk away from that plant and still be going to the Olympics,” he said.
Indeed. The sky is the limit for this kid. Just as long as we never hear White utter the following phrase:
“Lost my board, biffed my shins; trashed ‘em. I twanked my knees – both knees are twanked; wrist, wrist is danked – twanked and danked; shoulders-mcgeeged; all the way around; I can bend it both ways. Somebody else lost their board – I don’t know who it was- the board went owdewowdewowSHEGLANK right on my shoulders…”
Yeah, that was a Search for Animal Chin reference. And yes, I understand that a skateboarding reference from the ’80s has little to do with snowboarding today, but what is wrong about me feeling a bit nostalgic for my youth? Nothing, that’s what.
White clips face against superpipe [SI/AP]
Full of Tricks, White Dazzles in the Superpipe [The New York Times]
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