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Fourth-Place Medal

Shaun White gives away his Sochi Games snowboards to Make-A-Wish fans

Mike Oz
Fourth-Place Medal
Column: White's grand grab for gold comes up empty
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Shaun White couldn't win his third consecutive gold medal, but that's not what three fans will remember. (AP)

Shaun White didn't win his third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the men's snowboarding halfpipe, but he still won some good-guy points. He stopped after his qualifying run Tuesday to high-five and hug two kids who had survived cancer and were flown to Sochi to see him compete by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

[Video: Canada opens Sochi Games with 3-1 win]

Meeting White wasn't part of the Make-A-Wish deal. But thanks to a reporter and the Team USA snowboarding PR guy, White stopped mid-event to say hello and make their day.

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It was a pretty cool moment that got even better Thursday when White gave away the snowboards he used during the Sochi Games to the two fans he met Tuesday and another teen who had also been selected by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Ben Hughes (center in the photo above) is a 10-year-old who was diagnosed with leukemia at 6 and beat it. Kaitlyn Lyles (left) is a 19-year-old who survived a rare form of bone cancer and fell in love with White while undergoing chemotherapy. The third White fan (pictured at right) was identified only as Judson. He's a 16-year-old from Overton, Tx., who has leukemia and is an avid snowboader.

[Photos: Men's figure skating short program]

While the pro snowboarding world comes to grips with its feelings about Shaun White — whether they love him, hate him or are just tired of him — you'll get little debate from these three fans. To them, he's an Olympic hero.

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Mike Oz is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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