Shaun White’s dominance on the slope has come to an end.
The “Flying Tomato” has finished competing in what he has said is his last Olympic Games, and is leaving the competition without a medal this year.
He got back up and removed his helmet, then thanked his fans and reflected on his career, breaking down in tears.
“I’m proud of this life I’ve led, and what I’ve done in this sport, and what I’ve left behind,” White said, according to the Times.
White had won three Olympic gold medals in five games, USA Today reported.
He also said he’s ready to pass the mantle to the next generation of snowboarders.
“You’re watching it — these younger riders,” White said, according to the Times. “They’ve been on my heels every step of the way, and to see them finally surpass me is, I think deep down, what I always wanted.”
He also remembered the moment that started it all, when he had ordered his first snowboard, USA Today reported.
White said he ran home from school, asking his mother if it had arrived.
“And it wasn’t there. And then the next day, same thing. For like four days, I did that,” White said, according to USA Today. “And then one day, she just burst into the classroom with a board in her hand, and I was like beside myself. She interrupted everyone just to give me my board, and from then on, it was just, I was on a mission.”
Japan’s Ayumu Hirano, who has followed White’s gold with his own silver performances, overtook White to win the gold this year. Scotty James from Australia took silver and Switzerland’s Jan Scherrer earned bronze.
White hugged Hirano, telling him, “It’s your turn.”
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