In the lead-up to Tuesday’s snowboard halfpipe final round, the word on Iouri Podladtchikov was that he was one of those rare snowboarders who managed to get a stride or two behind Shaun White. He passed him yesterday on his way to a gold medal, but as much as it “broke his soul” to fall short, White said he was ultimately excited for his friend.
“Congrats to Iouri [Podladtchikov]. I’ve ridden with that guy forever and he deserves a big win,” White said. “He’s so excited, so happy and I’m pumped for the guy. He is a good friend of mine. The first thing he said was, ‘you’d better celebrate with me,’ so I said alright and as much as it’s going to break my soul, I’m [going] to go have a drink with him.”
White fell short of being the first Winter Olympian to win gold in the same event three consecutive times, falling short of the podium altogether.
As stunning as that was, it sounds like “I-Pod” was even more flabbergasted by finally climbing to the top of that Olympic mountain after chasing White for ages. The Swiss skateboarder fell short of the podium in two previous games before this crowning achievement.
“I can’t even imagine coming home, oh my god,” Podladtchikov said. “It’s going to be amazing.”
It sounds like things were pretty amazing already for the 25-year-old.