Snowboarding savant Shaun White debuts at Winter Games

Snowboarding savant Shaun White debuts at Winter Games

Feb. 13 (UPI) — Snowboarding superstar Shaun White showed off his skills Tuesday during men’s halfpipe qualifying at the 2018 Winter Games.

White had the best score in run 1 of qualification, posting a 93.25 at Phoenix Snow Park. American Ben Ferguson was second in the first run with a score of 91, followed by Australia’s Scott James, who posted an 89.

White began that run with a big double cork 1080 and he popped that jump into another 1080. He also pulled off a frontside 540 and transferred into a double McTwist, wowing fans and the NBC broadcast crew.

But James really gave the two-time Olympic gold medalist a push in run 2 of qualification.

The Australian posted a 96.75 in his second run, moving White out of first place.

White responded by dominated the halfpipe in his second run. He started the run with a frontside 1080. Then he went for a backside double McTwist 1260 before firing off a frontside 1260. White left the course after posting a 98.5, the best score in the field.

“For sure, you can’t help but stand there at the top and say if he could do it, I could do it,” White told NBC after his run. “Honestly, standing at the top, I high fived my guys. Then I remember, this is snowboarding. It’s what I’ve done my whole life. I gotta just let it happen and I did.”

James, Ferguson, Japan’s Ayumu Hirano and Raibu Katayama, Jan Scherrer, Chase Joey, Jake Pates, Patrick Burgener, Yuto Totsuka, Peetu Piiroinen and Kent Callister also qualified for the halfpipe final.

The men’s halfpipe final is set for 8:30 p.m. EST Tuesday