In case you had any doubts, Shaun White just proved on the biggest stage that he is still the best halfpipe snowboarder in the world. Taking his third gold medal in halfpipe in his fourth Olympics, White gave one of his best performances yet by stealing the gold medal away from Ayumu Hirano with the final run of the event.
And it was done by a 31-year-old against much younger competition (Hirano is only 19 and bronze medalist Scotty James is only 23). The level was raised in the halfpipe in (what some are calling) one of the greatest Olympic finals ever.
But 2017 was an emotional roller coaster for White, dealing with the settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit and being injured twice. One of those injuries required 62 stitches to his face. And the emotions of climbing back to the top after a disappointing non-medal finish at the 2014 Sochi Olympics came pouring out after White’s 97.75 score was announced.
But a bit of a shadow was cast over the parade during his press conference afterwards in which he dismissed talk of the sexual harassment lawsuit by referring to it as “gossip.”
After his performance in South Korea, Olympic gold medalist Shaun White deflected questions by @ABC about a sexual misconduct lawsuit, calling the allegations against him "gossip"—a word he has since apologized for using. https://t.co/bMJmsTovmP pic.twitter.com/N471ga7isu
— ABC News (@ABC) February 14, 2018
White quickly apologized Wednesday morning on the Today Show, admitting that it was a “poor choice of words.” Clearly, White wanted to only discuss the Olympic victory.
"I'm truly sorry that I chose the word gossip. It was a poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject in the world today." @shaunwhite on his remarks at news conference when asked about harassment case pic.twitter.com/5q9jyCL61m
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 14, 2018
It’s unfortunate that he referred to the lawsuit as such, but his quick apology shows he immediately recognized the insensitivity of his remark.
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