Legendary snowboarder Shaun White has shut the book on his peerless Olympic career with a fourth-placed finish in Beijing.
The Flying Tomato is finally grounded for good with tearful snowboard legend Shaun White signing off on his peerless career at the Beijing Olympics.
The 35-year-old, a three-time Olympic champion, just missed the halfpipe podium at his fifth and final Games with the small crowd at Genting Snow Park giving him a rousing farewell.
White’s legs let him down on his final run but the American’s score of 85:00 on his second effort was enough to lock in fourth place.
“I wish I could have landed my last run, but I was having some difficulty in my back leg for some reason, it was giving out on every run, I don’t know why,” White said.
“Maybe it was the pressure, maybe it was just exhaustion.
“You’re going to get me ugly crying here, but I’m not upset about the result.
“I would have loved to put it down, I wanted it so badly, but I’m proud of the runs I put down, I’m proud to be here for my last goodbye.”
Winning his first Olympic gold back in 2006 in Turin, White became a global superstar and took snowboarding mainstream with his halfpipe heroics.
He made an incredible comeback from a serious facial injury with a triumphant performance in his final run to grab gold in 2018 in PyeongChang, which he described as the highlight of his career.
He only made it to Beijing as one of the final qualifiers.
“To get this bonus round, to be here, see these young guys competing, it’s been such an enjoyable process and truly thankful to be here and still competing and even getting fourth. I’m proud of it,” he said.
White and long-time rival Scotty James shared a moment after competition with the Australian saying he wanted to thank him for his contribution to the sport.
“Shaun’s dedicated his life, like I have, to what we do here,” said James, who won silver.
“Obviously we’re competitors and when we’re standing up there it’s game on and then when great moments happen and things start to unfold, like today, I wanted to get a moment to talk to him and to just say thanks.
“He was a big inspiration to me when I was younger and then he became a rival of mine.
“Getting to compete here in his final Olympic Games is pretty special.”