ROSA KHUTOR, Russia, February 12 (R-Sport) – The trick that decided the Sochi Olympic final was pure snowboarding: a YOLO flip – short for “you only live once.”
Shaun White, the man formerly known as the “flying tomato,” may have lost his Olympic crown Tuesday, but the man in his place, Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov, is a worthy heir to the sport’s freewheeling tradition.
The YOLO, a two-flip, four-rotation trick invented by “iPod” and honed by White, was the trick that decided the final at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. Podladtchikov landed it in style, while White could not quite match him and finished fourth.
“With me and Shaun we want each other to win because we’re trying things differently. It feels kind of unique,” Podladtchikov said.
“The first question I asked him was: ‘Will you celebrate with me,’ and he said ‘Yeah man,’” the new champion added. “Someone pulled me away and I didn’t get to the ‘Where’s the party at?’ question.”
At times this season, Podladtchikov admitted that playing second fiddle to White, especially in the all-important YOLO flip stakes, had got him down.
“I got kind of bummed. This is my trick and he’s doing it better than me,” he said, adding with a smile: “But today I did it better.”
The Moscow-born Podladtchikov had his Russian relatives in the crowd in Sochi, cheering him on enthusiastically.
“My parents were crying. A lot of people were crying,” he said.
As for how Podladtchikov plans to celebrate, some might consider his answer a little too, well, establishment for snowboarding.
Podladtchikov, also a professional photographer, has set himself the target of reaching the pinnacle of his other great passion: “I’m going to shoot the cover of ‘Vogue.’”