1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Beijing Winter Olympics Digest: White falls as Hirano golds

Matt Ford Reuters, AFP, dpa | Janek Speight
February 11, 2022

Switzerland's Lara Gut-Behrami has become the first skier to become both a world and Olympic champion with gold in the super-G. But Shaun White's snowboarding career ended in heartbreak as Ayumu Hirano took gold.

Lara Gut-Behrami celebrates winning gold in the Super-G
Lara Gut-Behrami celebrated her gold medal win in the super-GImage: Robert F. Bukaty/AP/picture alliance

Swiss skier Lara Gut-Behrami has added super-G Olympic gold to her World Cup triumph, becoming the first woman to hold both titles simultaneously.

The 30-year-old had to wait for confirmation of her place atop the podium but, in reality, there was little chance of any of those seeded lower than 30th, who raced later, matching her time of 1:13.51.

Austria's Mirjam Puchner finished second, while Gut-Behrami's compatriot Michelle Gisin took bronze. Germany's Kira Weidle was more than a second off the pace in 15th.

US snowboarder Shaun White in tears
Shaun White's attempt at a fourth gold medal ended in a tearful farewellImage: HANNAH MCKAY/REUTERS

Shaun White crashes out

It was glory for Gut-Behrami on the slope, but heartbreak for the greatest men's snowboarder of all time in the halfpipe, as three-time Olympic champion Shaun White ended his career without a final medal — but with a standing ovation.

The 35-year-old was aiming for his fourth gold medal in the halfpipe, but crashed out on his third and final run to finish in fourth. 

"That's it," he said as he removed his helmet to bid farewell to the crowd, revealing a tear-streaked face.

Into his place stepped Japan's Ayumu Hirano, who finally claimed that coveted gold medal with a score of 96.00 after twice finishing with silver in the past two Games.

"I've been working toward my dream and this is it," said the 23-year-old.

Australia's Scotty James won silver with 92.50, while Switzerland's Jan Scherrer's 87.25 grabbed him bronze.

Ayumu Hirano competes during the men's halfpipe finals at the 2022 Winter Olympics
Ayumu Hirano finally won gold in the men's halfpipeImage: Francisco Seco/AP/picture alliance

Russian doping drama

The figure skating team gold medal won by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) on Monday remains in doubt after team member Kamila Valieva tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine.

The Independent Testing Agency confirmed the result, but the the 15-year-old's suspension has been temporarily lifted by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, RUSADA — a decision which the International Olympic Committee is now appealing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Gold medals:

In addition to Gut-Behrami and Hirano, Iivo Niskanen took gold in the men's cross-country skiing - Finland's first gold medal of these games.

And Nils van der Poel won his second and Sweden's fifth goal medal in the men's 1000m speed skating, while Norway's Marte Olsbu Roeiseland hit a perfect 10 of 10 shots before racing to victory in the women's 7.5km biathlon sprint.

In the women's 1000m short track, gold went to Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands.

Edited by: Janek Speight