Shaun White Blows Away Competition in Halfpipe Qualifying Run

Snowboarding legend Shaun White set the stage for a triumphant Olympic comeback Tuesday, taking first place in the second qualifying run for the Men’s Halfpipe event. After falling behind Australia’s Scotty James and Japan’s Ayumu Hirano in the first qualifying run, White, 31, pulled out all the stops to win, with a near-perfect score of 98.5 in the second round. James took second place with 96.75, and Hirano fell into third with 95.25. White, who gained fame as the Olympic halfpipe winner in 2006 and 2010, suffered a setback in 2014 and came in fourth place. With fans eager for a comeback, his journey to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics was almost derailed in October, when he suffered a brutal training injury that left him requiring 62 stitches in his face. Ahead of the Games, however, he told reporters he’d come to terms with his loss in Sochi and come back “stronger than ever.”