Danny Davis returned to the X Games to claim his second gold medal in a row last night, topping 2nd and 3rd place finishers Taku Hiraoka and Iouri Podladtchikov. Davis’ final run knocked 8-time superpipe champ Shaun White out of podium contention.
Davis, who was up last, stomped under pressure on his third and final run. He earned a 93.66 for a run that showed Danny’s signature style: McTwist, frontside nine, backside seven, his trademark switch method, cab ten, finishing with a frontside double cork ten.
“I think it’s getting to the point where everyone is doing a lot of the same tricks and the same runs,” Davis said. “I’ve been changing my tricks up a lot and it’s been working for me.”
Watch Danny Davis’ 93.66 run:
At the time of his third run, Michigan-born Davis sat in 4th place behind Hiraoka, IPod, and White, all who put up impressive runs. Taku Hiraoka of Japan scored a 92.33 on his third run, adding an X Games silver to go with his Olympic bronze.
“I actually think this is the first thing I have ever done back-to-back,” said Davis following the event. “It is a good feeling man, you feel accomplished. It feels like a good accomplishment. It means I am snowboarding well and I landed a lot of runs today. That is a good feeling.”
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The Olympic champion, Iouri Podladtchikov, came in third place with a strong 89 — a stunning finish considering he had surgery on his ankle Nov. 22. “‘I was lying in bed for a while, on crutches,’’ Podladtchikov said after the event. ‘‘I mean, this is the happiest moment for me, to be back, to be pushing the limits with all these guys.’’
Shaun White, the most dominant man in superpipe history, returned to the X Games after a year off for an attempt at his 9th gold medal in the event. White’s score of 82 on his second run wasn’t enough to compete, and he was pushed out of podium contention by Danny Davis.This was White’s first event since his lackluster performance in Sochi, where he also placed fourth.
Ayumu Hirano was the only rider of the night to successfully complete the Yolo — IPod’s ridiculously tough switch double-cork 1440. This was a career first for the16-year-old prodigy from Japan — but failed to earn him more than 77 points.
Watch the highlights from the Men’s Snowboard Superpipe: