Men's halfpipe, the snowboarding event many consider to be the Winter Olympics' premiere showcase of snowboarding talent, is scheduled for this evening. Qualification runs begin at 1:05 p.m. local time (4:05 EST), with the finals scheduled for 7:15 local (10:15 EST). Yes, you'll have to stay up late this evening to watch the halfpipe competition. Yes, it's going to be worth it!
Golden boy Shaun White, a.k.a. The Flying Tomato, looks to defend his 2006 Olympic Gold in his signature event. The double cork 1080 (an off-axis double backflip with three spins) is a trick we'll be hearing a lot about tonight, and it's one that many of the riders now have in their arsenal. The question is, who can pull the trick on back-to-back hits?
Regardless of the answer, White has the ability to one-up everyone with his latest high-flying trick: the Double McTwist 1260. This is the trick that caused White to smash his face on the lip of the halfpipe in Aspen during the Winter X-Games last month, although he came back and stomped the trick in his competition run to take yet another Winter X-Games championship.
Other riders to watch tonight are former Dancing With the Stars competitor Louie Vito, Swiss rider and 2010 Winter X-Games Silver medalist Iouri Podladtchikov, and 2010 Winter X-Games Bronze medalist Kazuhiro Kokubo, who hails from Japan.