Fourth-Place Medal

Shaun White and Shani Davis to try for Olympic history

Fourth-Place Medal
Shani and Shaun
.

View photo

Shaun White (l) and Shani Davis are coming to Sochi with two gold medals each in their individual events, and they're eyeing a third.
(Doug Pensinger / Getty Images) and (Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

Both Shaun White and Shani Davis will be vying to make the record books as they attempt to become the first American men to win three gold medals in a single event.

White, 27, has won half of all gold medals in the snowboard halfpipe competition (which was introduced in 1998 at the Nagano Olympics). White earned gold in both 2006 and 2010.

The San Diego native had a memorable win in 2010's Vancouver Games, where after securing the gold medal in his first run with a score of 46.8, he decided to perform the second run as a victory lap. He ended with the much-anticipated Double McTwist 1260, which earned him a record score of 48.4 out of 50 possible points.

View photo

.

Shaun White completes a Double McTwist 1260 at the end of his second run at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

At Sochi, White will compete in his signature halfpipe event while also attempting to become the first gold medalist in the slopestyle competition, a new contest added to this year's Games. White will be the only athlete to compete in both events.

[ Related: Shaun White sports black eye on Twitter ]
His chances of etching his name in the history books look promising, especially after nailing a frontside double-cork 1440. Although a staple in the slopestyle event, the dangerous trick has yet to be done in a halfpipe competition.

The biggest obstacle between White and gold number three wears an American uniform. Danny Davis is making a strong push for Olympic redemption after shattering his pelvis weeks before the 2010 Vancouver Games. At the final Sochi-qualifying event, Davis put up a score just 1.6 points behind White.

[ Related: Danny Davis wins X Games halfpipe gold ]

The favorite for gold in the inaugural slopestyle competition is Mark McMorris of Canada, but a fractured rib sustained during a crash at the Winter X Games may give him some trouble. McMorris has stated that the injury will not derail his quest for a victory in Sochi. White's Sochi journey will begin Feb. 6 with the slopestyle competition, followed by the halfpipe contest slated for Feb. 11.

Shani Davis, 31, heads into Sochi looking for a three-peat in the 1000 meter speed skating event. Davis already has his name etched in Olympic history as the first black athlete to win an individual gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics, where he also won silver in the 1500 meter distance. Davis duplicated this feat at the 2010 Games with a gold in the 1000 meter distance and a silver in the 1500 meter.

With a win at the 1000 meter trials, earning gold medals at three of the four World Cup 1000 meter races, and holding the world records for the 1000 meter and 1500 meter distances, Chicago-bred Davis is on a hot streak going into Sochi.

The 1000 meter contest will be held Feb. 12 and the 1500 meter competition will occur Feb. 15.

[ Related: Davis eyes more glory ]

One more American was looking to make it a gilded three-peat record, but he didn't qualify for the Sochi squad. Seth Wescott, 37, has won both gold medals in snowboardcross since the sport was added to the program in 2006, but failed to make the Olympic team. Wescott was eliminated in the quarterfinal round at the Winter X Games after colliding with another rider.

Wescott was fighting a nasty knee injury in his attempt at Olympic history. In April 2013 he tore his left ACL and broke his tibia after falling into an Alaska crevasse while shooting part of a ski and snowboard film.

Four male athletes have a trio of Winter Olympic gold medals to their name for a single event: Georg Hackl of Germany (luge), Gillis Grafström of Sweden (figure skating singles), Kjetil André Aaamodt of Norway (Super-G), and Ulrich Wehling of East Germany (Nordic Combined).

Bonnie Blair is the only American woman to have three golds in a single event, with her Olympic domination in the 500 meter speed skating spanning from 1988 to 1996.

View Comments