Oly-2018: US Snowboard halfpipe team aim for dominance at Games

Shaun White on his way to an historic third halfpipe Olympic gold at Phoenix Snow Park

Shaun White on his way to an historic third halfpipe Olympic gold at Phoenix Snow Park

Flagbearer James caused a stir ahead of the Winter Olympics when he admitted to feeling "shafted" by being marked too harshly by judges while chief halfpipe rival White was overscored.

America's Shaun White is the one to beat after qualifying in first place.

White advanced to Wednesday's 12-man final with his second qualifying run score of 98.50 in South Korea.

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They are hoping to build on the success of 17-year-old phenom Chloe Kim and Arielle Gold, the Americans who won the gold and bronze medal, respectively, in the women's snowboarding halfpipe finals this week.

James got his medal with his first run of 92 points but ultimately couldn't match the silky skills of American Shaun White who snatched the gold with his last run of 97.75. In addition to White, U.S. snowboarders Ben Ferguson, Chase Josey, and Jake Pates all scored high enough in the qualifying the round to earn a spot in the finals and be able to compete for a medal.

There are only two runs - one less than in the final - and a field of 29 riders to chew up the pipe's walls, this after the women's finalists dug into them a few hours earlier. In the end, it was Shaun in first, Scotty in second, and Ayumu in third heading into finals. "We were like, oh here we go, people are going to be hounding us, dude".

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The 24-year-old said she felt sore and stiff after her big crash, but was fortunate to walk away with no broken bones, according to a representative from the International Luge Federation. "I gotta just let it happen and I did". "I did a little bit of meditation at the top, put some good tunes in and got myself hyped up again". Three Japanese riders advanced as did two from Australia and Switzerland. He holds the title of most decorated X-Games gold medalist in history. This is my fourth Olympics, I have never really felt like an underdog since I was a little kid.

"I started seeing everyone putting these great runs in and", White told NBC Sports. Erin Hamlin, the US flag-bearer and the first American women's luger to win an Olympic medal (bronze, 2014), ended her career with a sixth-place finish.

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