Shaun White will be able to defend his Olympic halfpipe title after qualifying for the 2010 Games in Vancouver with victory in the Sprint US Snowboarding Grand Prix at Mammoth Lakes, California.
The 23-year-old from Carlsbad wrapped up his second win of the season on his first run, picking up 47 points as he threw a backside air, frontside double cork 1080, Cab double cork 1080, and a frontside 540, finishing with a backside 540.
After beating back the threat of Louie Vito and JJ Thomas, who finished second and third respectively, White celebrated with a very special victory lap.
He said of his party piece: "It's a double cork McTwist 1080, but that last one I went 1260, so I'm going to have to pick and chose if I want to take it 12 or keep it 10. It's been a trick that's been messing with me for a while, but I'm excited to try to put it down in Park City and hopefully at the Games."
Having secured his place in next month’s Winter Olympics, White is now free to concentrate on some new tricks as he goes for gold again at the Games.
"It's not that far away. I'm just trying to have fun this time, do my best, and put down heavy runs.
"Today was a good day," he went on. "I put down some good stuff and I was holding my best back on that last run. I feel like if I hang tight and keep riding the way I am, I'm just going to keep getting better and better."
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2010 Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, CA
1. Shaun White, Carlsbad, CA, 47.00
2. Louie Vito, Sandy, UT, 45.60
3. JJ Thomas, Golden, CO, 45.00
4. Luke Mitrani, Mammoth Mountain, CA, 44.20
5. Zack Black, Breckenridge, CO, 43.30