Posted: Feb 18, 2:44a ET | Updated: Mar 5, 10:37a ET

No holding back for White at Olympics

Another title for snowboarding's golden boy

VANCOUVER -- The trick is called a Double McTwist 1260.

Dude, your friends will be super-stoked if you shorten it the way snowboarders do. They call it a Double McTwist 12.

You could, of course, call it what Shaun White calls it. He named it the "Whitesnake."

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By whatever name, the trick is the next big thing in snowboarding. It is dangerous as hell, 3 1/2 twists co-mingled with two flips. Hard to describe, exactingly difficult to execute.

Shaun White didn't have to even try the Double McTwist 12 Wednesday night. He already had gold wrapped up -- roaring in the first of his two runs to such big air in the crystal-clear night sky, the crescent moon hanging so low it seemed it was just above him, that no one was going to catch him. No one.

He had won the the snowboarding halfpipe in Torino in 2006. Now he already had gold again.

Again, he did not have to try to execute the snake.

But history is not for the timid.

And Shaun White made history in an epic second run that he afterward modestly called a "miracle." On his last hit, he threw the Double McTwist 12, and landed it, and Olympic snowboarding will never be the same.

Afterward, he said: "I figured, why hold back?"

White's score in the second run, 48.4, is by far the biggest recorded since the Games moved to the 50-point table in 2002. White's winning 2006 score, for comparison: 46.8.

Four of the five judges gave him a 9.7 for Wednesday night's second run. One gave him a 9.6.

The snowboard halfpipe is the perfect vehicle for all that the International Olympic Committee is trying to do in reaching out to young people. Shaun White is the perfect star. That second run here at Cypress Mountain, perched above the lights of the city and the grandeur of the Pacific Ocean, made for the perfect moment.

"... Shaun is having as much fun as anybody," Jake Burton Carpenter, widely acknowledged as one of the founding fathers of snowboarding, said. "He'd be doing it if he wasn't paid a nickel and he's be pushing himself for sure but that is so much of what snowboarding is about."

For those unfamilar, the halfpipe is a mish-mosh of surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding. It's cool, in part because it's so obviously risky, the walls of the pipe now 22 feet high, and White, with his red curls and banadana, symbolizes the passion and ethos of the thing, his father, Roger, saying from the stands Wednesday of his son, "He's supposed to be a surfer. Maybe we're going to get some time to do that again!"

Maybe. But there are tricks on snow, and during summer skateboarding season -- when will the IOC wake up and get skateboarding into the Games? -- and surf season might have to wait just yet.

Others, including U.S. stars Kevin Pearce and Danny Davis -- both injured, neither competing here in Vancouver -- had been pushing White over the course of the fall and winter.

But since they weren't here, the plain fact is that White, in Vancouver as he was in Torino, was simply better than everybody else.

It's one thing to win, and even Shaun White felt nerves. He felt pressure to repeat. "It feels good," he said of winning gold again. "Heavy lies the crown."

It's another to take the sport to an entirely new level. When you are the best, and you're still willing to lay it all on the line, as White was during that second run, that elevates you into a very special place in sports history, indeed.

The second run sequence: backside air, frontside double-cork 1080, cab double-cork 1080, frontside 540, double McTwist 1260. To not do the double McTwist 12, White said afterward, "would somewhat be cheating the audience and myself."

Of White's last run, the silver medalist here Wednesday, Finland's Peetu Piiroinen said, "No one can do that. He's the best."

"I just felt like I didn't come all the way to Vancouver not to pull out the big guns," White said. "I put down the tricks I've worked so hard on."

He also said, "It was the savvy thing to do. Saucy. Keep it weird."

If you're not fluent in dude-speak, that means, more or less, do something for the history books.

Which raises the obvious question: Shaun White, what's next?

"What is next?" Shaun White said. "I don't know. Sleep, and then take on the world."

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