Submitted by Will on Mon, 01/26/2009 - 7:51pm
The contest was all but over. Kevin Pearce sat in first place, and Shaun White sat in nearly last place, with falls in his first two runs. But White qualified first in prelims, which meant he would get the last go at it. He had one more chance.
In a made-for-TV moment, White put it together and landed his run clean. He pulled into the corral, threw off his helmet and replaced it with a much cooler black headband. he needed to look good for this moment. Pearce knew a usurping was possible, and came over for a shoulder bump, bro hug sort of thing. They watched the scoreboard. The verdict:
White beats Pearce by one point. A 91.66 to Pearce's 90.66. White becomes the first athlete in X Games history to win back-to-back pipe golds. The crowd goes crazy. End of story.
Not so fast. Complaints began immediately. ESPN's X Games announcer Todd Richards said on live TV he didn't think White's run deserved gold. Several pro snowboarders watching—standing next to me—said Pearce's run looked better, bigger.
And so the controversy begins.
Originally reported on espn.go.com