From wows and shock to tears and relief, it was an emotional night at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Shaun White took his last snowboard run, ending a legendary career with his helmet held high, Ayumu Hirano made history by landing a game-changing triple cork then landing it twice more for gold after an astonishing scoring controversy, a world record was set by a young snowboarder whose height at the Games was unmatched, and Mikaela Shiffrin returned from a shocking start to the Games to compete in the women’s Super-G.
Here are some of the biggest, epic and most emotional of the night.
Competitors line up to congratulate Shaun White, one of snowboarding’s greatest, on a legendary career
Shaun White may not have finished his career with a medal, but his place at the pinnacle of snowboarding history was undeniable – even to his competitors.
As White wrapped up the final run of his snowboarding career at the 2022 Winter Olympics, competitors lined up at the bottom of the halfpipe to congratulate the great snowboarder on an unparalleled legacy.
Watch Shaun White’s Last Olympic Snowboarding Runs
White, who has three gold medals under his belt, did not return to the podium this time around, crashing in his final race and finishing just outside the top three spots.
After the fall, he held his helmet up and ended on an emotional note. The crowd at the halfpipe event cheered as White appeared in tears as he awaited his final score.
His second run was his best, scoring an 85 and propelling him to second place:
Round three ended in a crash, but he gave the crowd a final salute as he left the halfpipe:
White ultimately finished in fourth place, just 2.25 points from a bronze medal.
Watch Snowboarder Ayumu Hirano Overcome Scoring Controversy to Win Olympic Gold
Ayumu Hirano won his first Olympic gold medal in the men’s snowboarding halfpipe final on Thursday night.
And he needed to overcome some harsh scores from the judges to do so.
‘Relieved’ Mikaela Shiffrin lets it all out after Super-G
Even though Mikaela Shiffrin didn’t medal in the women’s super-G on Thursday night, her race was still valuable.
The two-time gold medalist and three-time medalist had a nightmarish start to the 2022 Winter Games. She skied her first run in the slalom and giant slalom, of which she was the reigning Olympic champion.
Ayumu Hirano’s second set raises questions about scoring
A two-time silver medalist in this event, Hirano hit a triple cork on a superb second run.
Many, including NBC snowboarding analyst Todd Richards, thought the race deserved to put Hirano in first place, with Richards calling it “the best halfpipe race ever”.
But the judges disagreed.
Hirano scored 91.75
USA overcome sloppy start to beat Czech Republic
The United States women’s hockey team was treated to a reality check on Friday.
Team USA escaped their quarter-final with a 4-1 win over the Czech Republic at Wukesong Sports Center. The Americans held an impressive 59-6 shooting advantage for the game, but Czech goaltender Klara Peslarova held on in net with 54 saves.
The first period consisted entirely of Team USA, but the team couldn’t get past Peslarova. The US, led 18-0 in shots at the end of the first period.
Hear Shaun White reflect on his Olympic legacy and officially retire in an interview
Legendary snowboarder Shaun White has looked back on his legacy after placing fourth at his fifth and final Winter Olympics. White is retiring with three Olympic gold medals to his credit, all in halfpipe snowboarding.
“Yeah, I’m retired, that’s it,” White said after the final.
“Every step of the way has been great,” White said. “I’m not watching it from today, I’m watching it as a whole.”
Scotty James wins silver in controversial halfpipe finish
Australia’s Scotty James won silver in a controversial final.
James scored 92.50 in his second run and was immediately followed by Ayumu Hirano. The reigning two-time silver medalist apparently had a better run, which included the first-ever triple cork in Olympic halfpipe history, and should have taken first place. However, the judges gave it a score of 91.75.
“It’s going to end up being a triple door,” NBC commentator Todd Richards said after the score was released. “People are already going absolutely nuts about it.”
Whatever craziness Hirano might have felt about the scoreline was channeled into his final run. The 23-year-old took things up a notch yet again and landed another triple en route to a deciding score of 96.00.