Steamboat’s Gold advances to Olympic snowboard men’s halfpipe |

Steamboat’s Gold advances to Olympic snowboard men’s halfpipe

Taylor Gold, pictured here at XGames 2020, finished seventh in the men’s Olympic snowboard halfpipe qualifiers at Genting Snow Park on Wednesday, Feb. 9. He’ll compete in the finals Thursday, Feb. 10, at 6:30 p.m. MST
Kelsey Brunner/Aspen Times

Taylor Gold had a no-pressure second run in the Olympic men’s snowboard halfpipe qualifiers. The rider out of Steamboat Springs earned an 81.25 after his first run, putting him in fourth. The top 12 moved on to finals, so a fourth-place spot halfway through was pretty comfortable.

Still, he pushed. Gold did the same run he did an hour earlier, trying to improve on his score. By the time he dropped in for his second run, he was in sixth.

He got wicked air on his first hit, and even more on the second. However, the landing on his third hit was dangerously close to the lip of the pipe. His amplitude helped him improve, earning an 83.5. That didn’t bump him out of sixth, though.

With just four riders to go, Gold had sealed a spot in the finals, which will take place Thursday, Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m. By the time the competition wrapped up, he was in the No. 7 spot.

American Shaun White had to improve on his first run of 24.25 points, which put him 19th. White improved massively on that score, pulling out an 86.25 to qualify in the No. 4 spot.

Even after securing a confident spot in the finals after one round, the top contenders went bigger in the second run. Japan’s Ayumu Hirano improved his 87.25 to a 93.25 to move into first. Scotty James and Ruka Hirano improved their already top-five scores to move into second and third, respectively.

American Chase Josey used a clutch final run to squeeze into the top 12 and advance to the finals.

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