Snowboarding star Shaun White has spoken of his "beautiful journey" after confirming his retirement following the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

White was emotional last Friday as he competed in his final event at the Winter Games, the men's halfpipe, where he agonisingly finished in fourth place.

The American is the first and so far only snowboarder to win three gold medals, and had already announced before the Games in China that it would be his last, bringing a much-decorated 22-year career to an end.

He took to Twitter on Friday to write a farewell message.

"I slid down the halfpipe at the Olympics for the final time," he posted. "Typing this now makes me just as emotional as I felt last Friday. It brings me tears of joy.

"It has been a rollercoaster of emotions and I am overwhelmed with appreciation. Closing this chapter of my life has made me reflect on that past 22 years as a professional snowboarder with gratitude."

White went on to thank numerous people who have helped him through his career, insisting that "Still competing at the Olympics at the age of 35. It takes a village, and I am so incredibly lucky to have had such wonderful and talented humans in my corner over the years."

He also thanked his family as well as skateboarding icon Tony Hawk, who he credited as a "positive influence", and also thanked snowboarding's organisers, his fellow competitors and his fans.

White went on the say: "Snowboarding was my first love. Like any new relationship, it was intoxicating. Snowboarding gave me a rush, made me feel invincible, filled my life with adventure. It gave me purpose and I got to be creative.

"I will of course miss snowboarding professionally, but this won't be the last time you see [me] cruising down the mountain.

"I am beyond humbled and grateful for this beautiful journey. It has been an honor and a privilege. This has been the ride of my life!"

As well as his Olympic success, at the X Games, White won 23 medals overall, of which 15 were gold. Thirteen of those gold medals came in snowboarding and two in skateboarding.

Eight of his X Games golds came in the halfpipe event, with the other five achieved in slopestyle.

He was the first snowboarder to score a perfect 100 in the halfpipe in the Winter X Games, achieving that 10 years ago in Aspen, Colorado.

White triumphed first at the Winter Olympics as a 19-year-old in Turin in 2006, defending his title in 2010 in Vancouver, and recovering from missing out on the Sochi podium four years later by landing gold again at Pyeongchang 2018.

His score of 97.75 in his second run at Pyeongchang stands as an Olympic record.

Snowboarding star Shaun White has spoken of his "beautiful journey" after confirming his retirement following the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

White was emotional last Friday as he competed in his final event at the Winter Games, the men's halfpipe, where he agonisingly finished in fourth place.

The American is the first and so far only snowboarder to win three gold medals, and had already announced before the Games in China that it would be his last, bringing a much-decorated 22-year career to an end.

He took to Twitter on Friday to write a farewell message.

"I slid down the halfpipe at the Olympics for the final time," he posted. "Typing this now makes me just as emotional as I felt last Friday. It brings me tears of joy.

"It has been a rollercoaster of emotions and I am overwhelmed with appreciation. Closing this chapter of my life has made me reflect on that past 22 years as a professional snowboarder with gratitude."

White went on to thank numerous people who have helped him through his career, insisting that "Still competing at the Olympics at the age of 35. It takes a village, and I am so incredibly lucky to have had such wonderful and talented humans in my corner over the years."

He also thanked his family as well as skateboarding icon Tony Hawk, who he credited as a "positive influence", and also thanked snowboarding's organisers, his fellow competitors and his fans.

White went on the say: "Snowboarding was my first love. Like any new relationship, it was intoxicating. Snowboarding gave me a rush, made me feel invincible, filled my life with adventure. It gave me purpose and I got to be creative.

"I will of course miss snowboarding professionally, but this won't be the last time you see [me] cruising down the mountain.

"I am beyond humbled and grateful for this beautiful journey. It has been an honor and a privilege. This has been the ride of my life!"

As well as his Olympic success, at the X Games, White won 23 medals overall, of which 15 were gold. Thirteen of those gold medals came in snowboarding and two in skateboarding.

Eight of his X Games golds came in the halfpipe event, with the other five achieved in slopestyle.

He was the first snowboarder to score a perfect 100 in the halfpipe in the Winter X Games, achieving that 10 years ago in Aspen, Colorado.

White triumphed first at the Winter Olympics as a 19-year-old in Turin in 2006, defending his title in 2010 in Vancouver, and recovering from missing out on the Sochi podium four years later by landing gold again at Pyeongchang 2018.

His score of 97.75 in his second run at Pyeongchang stands as an Olympic record.

Shaun White paid tribute to the new generation of snowboarding stars – those he considers his "legacy" in the sport – after his final run at the Winter Olympics.

The American great finished in fourth place in the men's halfpipe final on Friday after falling on his third run at Genting Snow Park.

It was the last competition at the Games for White, a pioneering figure in the sport for more than 15 years who helped to bring snowboarding into the mainstream.

A five-time Olympian, White won three gold medals in the halfpipe, but he could not match Ayumu Hirano on Friday as the Japanese finally won gold after silvers in 2014 and 2018.

Now 35, White holds the record for X-Games gold medals and golds won by a snowboarder at the Olympics. He never finished lower than fourth at the Games.

Speaking after the competition, White said problems with his leg caught up with him as he tried for a final push for a medal, but he could not be prouder than to see the standard of competition he helped to inspire.

"Over the last few months, it's been wild," White said. "Pushing to give it everything I have, but then realising I am human. I've spent an entire career not being human and doing what people thought was impossible. And then to have my ankle go and then my knee, and I had surgery before the season started.

"All these things wearing and tearing, so to put it down and to even get here, I was so thrilled. What a time of my life to be with those competitors and feel the joy of winning and riding.

"The thought I keep having is, 'Wow, this is the last time I'll be here doing this specific thing. This is the last time I'll be at a competition, stressed out about what points I'm going to get, or is today the day I might really hurt myself trying to push the envelope', you know? It's hard to wake up every day since you were a kid and go, 'Wow, I'm going to do something really scary today and hope I'm okay'.

"Honestly, I keep saying, if I got third, I would have wanted second. And if I had gotten second, I would have wanted more. This is just the competitor in me, but I am happy. I am happy to come back here and ride the pipe and have some fun and be a part of this sport. I think I've earned that.

"I knew my leg wasn't holding, but I knew I had to do something to push the score up. I hadn't landed one of those in practice and thought maybe – hey, I'm pretty lucky – maybe I'll hit it during the run and put it together. I barely made the first one, and so I knew going into that one it was all willpower to make it happen.

"You know, sliding on my back, thinking, 'This isn't how I wanted it to go'. You don't always get what you want, but I have to be thankful for everything I do have and what I have gotten in my career. I've got to be happy for these guys."

Asked about the current state of snowboarding, White added: "Oh my god. It makes me proud. It makes me pretty emotional, you know.

"Everybody was asking me what my legacy in this sport has been, and, I'm like, 'You're watching it'. These younger riders, they have been on my heels every step of the way. To see them finally surpass me is, I think, deep down what I always wanted, you know – to be beaten!"

Mikaela Shiffrin has two ugly DNF marks by her name so far at the Winter Olympics, but it could be third time lucky for the American on Friday.

The 26-year-old took home one gold medal from both the 2014 Sochi Games and 2018 in Pyeongchang, and came to Beijing with high hopes of adding to that haul.

Ester Ledecka is among the rivals who will also be targeting the super-G podium, while other multiple champions in action elsewhere on Friday include Shaun White and Dario Cologna.

Here, Stats Perform previews each of the day's medal events. 

Alpine skiing

Shiffrin took super-G gold at the 2019 World Championships, so she cannot be counted out here, providing she cuts out the errors and finishes the course.

Italians Federica Brignone, Elena Curtoni and Sofia Goggia are 1-2-3 in the World Cup standings, so should be factors, while Czech star Ledecka is chasing a second extraordinary double. She took snowboard parallel giant slalom gold earlier in the Games, and after winning both that and the super-G in 2018, she cannot be ruled out.

Switzerland's Lara Gut-Behrami won the world title last year and sits fifth in the World Cup standings, but a reigning world champion has never won gold in the women's Olympic super-G.

Biathlon

Can Norway's Marte Olsbu Roeiseland upgrade from silver four years ago in the women's 7.5km sprint? Her World Cup form has been good, with two wins in the sprints, so gold is a realistic aim. She already has one gold from Beijing, in the team relay, and a bronze from the 15km individual.

Norway's Tiril Eckhoff has not shown her best form in the World Cup this year, but Roeiseland's compatriot is the reigning world champion, a two-time Olympic relay gold medallist, and could come into the equation.

Cross-country skiing

Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo won gold in the sprint and should again be a factor in Friday's men's 15km classic, but the Norwegian says Finland's Iivo Niskanen is the hottest prospect for top of the podium. 

"He's definitely the favourite I would say, together with [Alexander] Bolshunov," said Klaebo. "All of us need to have the best day we can have, and it will be tough but we're just going to give it all and hopefully manage to have a good day and to have good skis and everything and then for sure it's possible."

Swiss veteran Cologna has won this event in the last three Olympics, but a four-peat seems an unlikely prospect.

Short track speed skating

Netherlands' Suzanne Schulting competes in the women's 1,000m, looking to defend the title, which has not been achieved since Lee-kyung Chun did so in 1998. South Korea and China have won 16 of the 21 medals in this event since its Olympic debut in 1994.

Skeleton

Christopher Grotheer was star of the show as the men's skeleton began on Thursday, leading by 0.70 seconds after two runs. That is a significant gap, with the German's closest rival being his compatriot Alex Jungk.

World champion Grotheer said: "The first run was brilliant, and the second run was also really good. I have a really good first day and I hope [on Friday] I can show this performance too."

Snowboard

American White heads into the halfpipe knowing this will be his career swan song, having decided to retire. Three times a gold medallist, the 35-year-old is bidding to become the first man to win individual gold medals at four Winter Olympics.

White was fourth in qualifying, with Japan's Ayumu Hirano leading the way.

Speed skating

Sweden's Nils van der Poel has made his mark on and off the rink in Beijing, winning gold in the men's 5,000m before making a raft of accusations, claiming the dominant Netherlands team have unduly influenced racing conditions. He goes again on Friday in the men's 10,000m and is the likely champion.

Shaun White has confirmed the Winter Olympics halfpipe will be his last snowboarding event before retiring from the sport.

The American has a place in Games history under lock and key already, as the first and so far only snowboarder to win three gold medals.

"I really want to finish my career strongly on my own terms and put down some solid runs. If I could do that, I'll be very happy," White said on Saturday.

"I don't know how many kids really aspire to be a cowboy and get to be a cowboy. At a young age, snowboarding is what I wanted more than anything and to be walking in these shoes today is just incredible. It feels so amazing, I'm so proud."

White said he came close to missing a Games bus on Friday night because he was too occupied with trading USA team pins – an Olympics ritual that sees stars and participants swapping the colourful pin badges, amassing collections to take away as mementos.

"I'm having as much fun as I can," White said.

It is worth remembering what White has brought to the Winter Olympics and snow sport as a whole.

At the X Games – the Mardi Gras of extreme sports – White has totted up 23 medals, of which 15 have been gold. Thirteen of those gold medals have come in snowboarding, but two came in skateboarding, highlighting his prowess there.

Eight of his X Games golds came in the halfpipe event, with the other five achieved in slopestyle, the snowboarding variant that features obstacles.

He was the first snowboarder to score a perfect 100 in the halfpipe in the Winter X Games, achieving that 10 years ago in Aspen, Colorado.

White triumphed first at the Games as a 19-year-old in Turin in 2006, defending his title in 2010 in Vancouver, and recovering from the jolt of missing out on the Sochi podium four years later by landing gold again at Pyeongchang.

His score of 97.75 in his second run at Pyeongchang stands as an Olympic record.

His final bid for glory is coming up, with men's halfpipe qualifying taking place on Wednesday, before Zhangjiakou's Genting Snow Park stages the final runs on Friday.

"It will be my last competition, which is pretty special," said White, in a news conference on Saturday.

It was already known this would be his final Olympics.

Now 35, White has been snowboarding since the age of six. The red-haired Californian goes by the nickname of 'The Flying Tomato', and he says the experience of knowing this is his farewell Olympics is "pretty heavy, but I'm enjoying it".

"It's been a beautiful run. Let's see this through and see what's next," he said. "I definitely don't think I'll be leaving the sport anytime soon. All these people within an industry that ride backcountry and pipes. I'm just excited for the next chapter."

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