Shawn White is probably the most popular snowboarder in the entire world, but he wasn’t the best at the Winter X Games in Apen this weekend. Canadian Mark McMorris successfully defended his 2012 gold medal by crushing White and the rest of his competition in the Men’s Slopestyle event on Saturday.
McMorris, who’s still only 19 years old, pinned a gnarly corkscrew 1260 during his run, which lit up the crowd and put to rest any discussion there was of the Canadian possibly losing his gold medal from the year prior. McMorris still said he has the utmost respect for White and is honored to have beaten him in his own arena –again– the way that he did.
“He’s got all the tricks; he’s just getting back into it,” McMorris said of White. “I felt really solid about my riding. I’m just glad it all worked out and everybody stayed safe. I landed a run I don’t think I’ve ever done, really.”
White fell twice during his run on Saturday and settled for fifth place. He stuck around well after his run to congratulate McMorris on yet another X Games gold.
“I’m going to let this soak in and hopefully turn it into a motivator,” said White after the event.
Both White and McMorris will likely be competing against each other at next winter’s 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. White is the reigning gold medalist in the Olympic Halfpipe event dating back to his first gold at the 2006 Torino Games. White took the gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games as well, while McMorris would be competing in his first Olympic Games in Sochi.
White hasn’t been completely shut out of a gold — at least not yet. White is set to compete in the Men’s SuperPipe Final on Sunday night, which is the final event of 2013 Aspen Winter X Games.