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Shaun White is riding for Olympic gold, maybe for the last time.
It’s been four years since he finished fourth at the Winter Games in Sochi, four long years waiting for a chance to prove himself again in what could possibly be his final Winter Olympic Games.
So in October, when he pointed his board down the 22-foot Olympic SuperPipe in Cardrona, New Zealand, a place he’d journeyed to in his own search for the endless winter (ie. ideal training conditions), White’s singular focus was on pushing himself to do whatever he had to do to get to the top of the podium for a third time.
It’s how he found himself in the air, 15 or so feet above the rim of the pipe in the middle of a “cab double cork 1440” – essentially spinning twice while flipping four times.
What happened next is part of Shaun White’s dramatic journey in his quest to make the U.S. Olympic team and go for gold at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea: a 186-mile helicopter ride to a hospital; emergency surgery; 62 stiches; and a 5-day stay in a New Zealand hospital.
SnowPack: Shaun White and the U.S. Snowboard Team is an eight-part documentary series exploring White’s journey back to the Olympics. It can be seen each week on Yahoo Sports.