Shaun White Looks To Defend Gold Medal In Men's Halfpipe

Note: Men's Halfpipe Finals will be aired LIVE on NBC Wednesday night, beginning approximately at 10:15 p.m. ET.

The United States will look to continue its dominance in Snowboard Men's Halfpipe Wednesday night, one of the more fun (and definitely the most gnarly) events at the Winter Olympics.

America has won six of the nine medals since the sports' inception at the 1998 Nagano Games, including a podium sweep in 2002, and both gold and silver in 2006. They have positioned themselves nicely to repeat that Turin performance tonight in Vancouver, with a pair of Americans advancing to the finals in the first and third positions.

The defending gold medalist, Shaun White, has safely advanced to the finals with the highest score in qualifying, a 45.8. Fellow American Louie Vito is also in the finals, qualifying in the third position. Japan's Ryo Aono is in second. The top three scores move directly to the finals, meaning those three will not have to participate in the semi-finals.

White opted to make a second run in the qualifying round, even though he did not have to.

"To be honest, I'm more nervous in the qualifying than the finals," he said. "It's hard to explain, but we've practiced our finals run so much. These runs, you're just in a strange limbo where you do just enough to get in but you don't show everything."

There has not yet been a sighting of White's double McTwist 1260, but it may be unleashed in the finals: "You work on something hard, why not, right? Yeehaw!" said White.

MoreSB Nation’s full coverage of the Winter Olympics and the 2010 Winter Olympics Medal Count Tracker.

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