Shaun White almost ideal in advancing to halfpipe finals

Shaun White's journey to the Olympics was almost halted by a gruesome injury

White made his debut at the 2006 Winter Olympics more than ten years ago, and at this year's games, he's still known as the Flying Tomato to fans.

There are only two runs - one less than in the final - and a field of 29 riders to chew up the pipe's walls, this after the women's finalists dug into them a few hours earlier.

White topped qualifying in the men's halfpipe event with a stunning 98.25 out of 100 second run, coming one rider after the Australian world No.1 hit the lead with 96.75.

What he did, by the standards of his sport, was ideal: 28 seconds of snowboarding, five jumps, five smooth landings, 15-1/2 revolutions of airborne twists, and finally, a swerving stop at the bottom of the halfpipe, where Shaun White saw his score.

In the 2018 Winter Games, the biggest favorite to win gold in halfpipe is American Shaun White, who competes in his fourth Olympics and hopes to win his third medal after he finished a heartbreaking fourth in the 2014 Sochi Games.

Jarred Silvia, 18, was also born with TOF and says Shaun White is his role model.

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"I think Shaun White's done unbelievable things for our sport".

Japan's Ayumu Hirano was second with 95.25 points.

Having already won gold, Kim let loose with a victory lap for the ages, one-upping herself, by landing a frontside 1080 into a cab 1080 back-to-back to claim a almost flawless score of 98.25. "Shaun, if he looked at that run, he would tell you that wasn't a ideal 100". "It's so amusing. I don't want to say now".

"I was working on something [in my final run] but I'm a big believer in fate and it wasn't meant to be today", he said. The final will also include Americans Ben Ferguson, Chase Josey, and Jake Pates. But getting the mindset better is really hard.

"It's a good contest, it was going off like a fish milkshake and I was just happy to be in it having a good time so I'm walking away happy, pleased, safe - it's good". And now coming into this one I have faith that it's going to be great.

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