Shaun White

Lucky 13: Shaun White shooting for more X Games gold

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As we approach the one-year-out date from the Sochi Olympics, it’s time for the annual pilgrimage that snowboarders, extreme skiers and, more recently, snowmobile operators make to Aspen, Colo.

The X Games are here.

And what would the X Games be without its biggest star, Shaun White? He’s won the superpipe gold medal the last five years, and aside from a silver medal in 2007 White has another two superpipe titles. That, of course, is in addition to the five slopestyle gold medals he has and the Olympic halfpipe titles he earned in 2006 and 2010.

We’ll see white compete for superpipe gold medal No. 8 on Sunday and his sixth slopestyle win on Saturday. He was recently in Breckenridge, Colo. for a Dew Tour competition and, apparently, to work on some new tricks. As this video shows, White threw down a triple cork 1440 while practicing for slopestyle.

It’s a clear message to his competitors that White, who cut off his famous red hair last month, will be looking for slopestyle gold when the discipline makes its Olympic debut in Sochi.

White’s American teammate Kelly Clark has a decent streak going of her own; she’s won the last two superpipe X Games titles and also won in 2006. In 2004, 2009 and 2010, Clark took silver. In 2008 she earned bronze.

Assuming Clark advances to the final, she will go for gold medal No. 4 Saturday night.

The 29-year-old Clark, who burst onto the scene in 2002 to win the Olympic halfpipe title, recently told ESPN she wants to leave her mark on the sport when she decides to hang up her board. Clark’s foundation has given more than $42,000 in scholarships to young snowboarders since it was established in 2010. At the 2011 X Games, Clark was the first woman in history to land a 1080 – and she was rewarded at the bottom of the pipe by the other competitors, who piled on top of her in celebration for what she had done.

ESPN and ABC will broadcast the X Games starting Thursday, with White closing the Games Sunday night in the superpipe.

Blind Paralympic champion Brad Snyder throws ceremonial first pitch (video)

Brad Snyder
Courtesy of the Baltimore Orioles
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Brad Snyder, who took home three swimming gold medals from the Rio Paralympic Games, threw the ceremonial first pitch at the Baltimore Orioles game on Sunday.

Snyder, who lost his vision while serving in the U.S. Navy in Afghanistan by stepping on an improvised explosive device, is a native of Baltimore.

He pitched alongside fellow Paralympic swimmer McKenzie Coan, who also claimed three gold medals in Rio.

The Orioles honored two more Paralympians, track and field sisters Hannah and Tatyana McFadden, before Saturday’s game.

Tatyana won six medals in Rio, which tied her with swimmer Jessica Long for the most for a U.S. athlete.

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High school gym named after Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs

US' Jordan Ernest Burroughs celebrates a
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The gymnasium at Winslow Township (N.J.) High School was renamed Jordan Burroughs Gymnasium on Saturday in honor of the 2012 Olympic wrestling champion.

“I just want people to recognize it’s possible,” Burroughs said to the Courier-Post. “It takes focus, dedication and really, discipline, to get to this high level of success. But like, I did it. From here. These same teachers, these same facilities, this same community. It’s possible. I want people to recognize that.”

Burroughs was a state champion in 2006 at Winslow Township High School. Six years later, he claimed an Olympic gold medal in the men’s freestyle wrestling 74kg division.

In Rio, he lost his quarterfinal match to Russia’s Aniuar Geduev, who went on to earn the silver medal. After the match, an emotional Burroughs referred to the loss as the “hardest day of my life.”

MORE: Jordan Burroughs will not repeat gold after loss to Russia’s Geduev