Speaking of everyone else, the natural question for many is: who has a chance to keep White from becoming the first Winter Olympian to take gold in the same event three times in a row? NBCOlympics.com presents some of the best nominees here.
Here’s a very abbreviated rundown of some other snowboarders to watch, but again, the detailed account is here.
Iouri Podladtchikov – After originally competing for Russia, “I-Pod” now competes for Switzerland, hopes to finally close the gap behind White. He’s pushing White thanks in part to what he calls the “Yolo flip,” described by the AP as “a double-cork 1440 — four full twists packed inside of two flips,” which is a half-twist more than White’s biggest trick from the last Olympics.
One might say he “lives” to push White, who reportedly is working on more elaborate tricks to combat Podladtchikov’s invention.
Danny Davis – Consider him the “wild card” of the halfpipe. While he doesn’t seem as technically focused as many other snowboarders, his more flowing approach could very well make him a threat. There’s a little bit of skateboarding icon Tony Alva’s spirit in Davis’ approach.
Ayumu Hirano – At 15, Hirano might just be snowboarding’s next wunderkind. He’s the the youngest rider ever to win an FIS Snowboard World Cup and while his time might not necessarily be now, his future seems incredibly bright.