Words: Pat Bridges Photos: Mike Yoshida

Though the results might appear somewhat predictable the culmination of the 2012 Winter X Games was a dramatic affair.. The pinnacle event at Winter X is always the mens halfpipe finals and the sixteenth iteration of this made for TV spectacle was no different.

Once again eight men advanced into the nighttime finals with the hope of taking home a medal yet for seven of ’em the real challenge was to find the juice to halt the juggernaut
that is Shaun White. For most of these contenders Aspens 22 foot chalice proved to be a bit too challenging. Potential podium finishers like Louie Vito, Luke Mitrani, Matt Ladley and
Greg Bretz couldn’t dial their runs and ultimately ended the night off the pace. Though Christian Haller, Ryo Aono and Iouri Podadtchikov each pulled the tricks needed to stay in contention and keep Shaun from having an easy go of it, in the end they couldn’t muster the same consistent height as White. Now much has been made of Shaun’s “perfect score” of 100 on his victory lap. This hyperbole is a bit misleading. Given that Shaun scored 94 on his first run and 100 on his victory lap it all comes down to context. Putting the “perfect score” billing aside the fact of the matter is that Shaun’s third run was more than 6% better than his first. Check out the exclusive Snowboardermag.com video of the run and decide for yourself. Either way Shaun White once again reaffirmed that he is the most dynamic and consistent halfpipe rider in the history of our sport and he has the 17 Winter X Games medals to prove it.