American snowboarder Shaun White delivered a stunning routine under huge pressure to claim Olympic gold on the last run of the halfpipe final in Pyeongchang.
White produced a near-perfect run to earn a score of 97.75 from the judges – narrowly beating Japanese teenager Ayumu Hirano to gold, with Australian boarder Scotty James claiming bronze.
White becomes a three-time Olympic gold medallist, having won the halfpipe event at Torino 2006 and Vancouver 2010.
“Man, that was awful and amazing at the same time,” said White, speaking about his long wait for the score after his final run.
“I knew I did a great ride and I was proud of that and I could walk away with my head high, but when they announced my score and I’d won, it crippled me.”
White fought back from a crash in October that left him with 62 stitches in his face to claim gold in South Korea, and the 31-year-old described his winning routine as “one of the most challenging” runs of his career.
“I actually did the same trick that injured me here in the halfpipe today. So there were a lot of obstacles to overcome and now it’s all worth it.
“Honestly it’s one of the most challenging runs I’ve ever done. I didn’t even link the combination, the 14 to 14 (back-to-back 1440s) until I got here, today, this morning.
“So, honestly, I’m just so happy with my performance. I’m proud of the other riders for pushing me this whole time.”
White’s victory means the United States have won all four snowboarding golds awarded so far at the Games in Pyeongchang.