The Sports Report: The Shaun White Era is almost over

Shaun White during snowboard halfpipe practice.
(Tim Clayton / Getty Images)

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David Wharton on Shaun White: By the end of the day, his body ached all over. His ankle and back, a knee still sore from surgery. Shaun White was feeling every bit of 35 years old, worn down from a lifetime spent attacking the halfpipe, launching himself skyward, spinning and twisting and landing hard.


Riding a chairlift on a mountain in Austria, he saw the truth of it.

“The mountain was closing down and no one was around,” White recalls. “I was watching the sun go down and it just hit me. I was like ‘This is it. These are the signs.’”

The men’s halfpipe contest at the Beijing Olympics will be his last, he says. If so, it will mark the end of an era, an unmatched career that has spanned three gold medals and a record 13 X Games titles, making White the greatest competitive snowboarder ever.

Maybe the greatest American athlete in the history of the Winter Games.

“My riding speaks for itself,” he says when asked about this legacy. “I’ve always been trying to push and progress and do the next biggest thing … be ahead of the curve.”

Medals cannot tell the whole story. As snowboarding’s first crossover star, “the Flying Tomato” cut a striking figure with all that flowing red hair and millions upon millions in endorsements. His signature Double McTwist 1260 was one of many innovations he brought to the sport.

Now the Carlsbad native hopes to coax one more memory. If he can get through Wednesday’s qualifying round, White has a plan for the final, a string of tricks already playing through his head.

“The goal has been to just squeeze every bit of fun and excitement and joy out of this experience,” he says. “I really want to finish my career strongly, on my own terms.”



Mexico’s Donovan Carrillo giving Latin America hope and excitement in ice skating

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Note: Our Olympics coverage is done in real time, so if you don’t want to know what happened before you watch TV today, skip down to the TV schedule.

From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: Six years ago, doctors didn’t even know of Colby Stevenson would walk out of the hospital. The freestyle skier underwent two surgeries after a car crash left him with a fractured skill, eye socket, jaw and neck.

On Wednesday, he was skiing down a 534-foot ramp and launching himself toward an Olympic silver medal.

Stevenson finished second in freeski big air on at Beijing’s Big Air Shougang by landing a switch 1800 on his third run. His score of 183.00, which combined a 1620 in the second run, gave the 24-year-old his first Olympic medal and the United States’ seventh of these games.


Stevenson, who was put in a medically induced coma for several days and needed a titanium plate in his skull after the accident, still has a scar on his forehead. The faded mark snakes down between his eyebrows.


From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: After finishing ninth in snowboard slopestyle last week, Jamie Anderson disappeared quickly. The two-time defending gold medalist did a cursory interview with TV but escaped before talking to reporters in the mixed zone. Four days later, the 31-year-old spoke on social media.

“Reality sinking in,” Anderson posted in an Instagram story Wednesday morning in which she thanked fans for their support. “This s--- is a rollercoaster of emotions.

“At the end of the day, I just straight up couldn’t handle the pressure … had an emotional break down the night before finals and my mental health and clarity just hasn’t been on par. Looking forward to some time off and self care. After big air of course.”


From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: This is still Chloe Kim’s halfpipe to rule.

Four years after she threw down back-to-back 1080s in a gold medal victory run in Pyeongchang, Kim is still lapping the field in women’s snowboard halfpipe. The 21-year-old qualified in first Wednesday for Thursday’s finals at Genting Snow Park with a score of 87.75. The Torrance native will defend her Olympic gold medal in the 12-woman final at 9:30 a.m. Thursday (5:30 p.m. PST on Wednesday).


Fellow Americans Maddie Mastro, Tessa Maud and Zoe Kalapos missed the qualifying cut, finishing 13th, 16th and 17th, respectively.

The next closest qualifier to Kim was Japan’s Mitsuki Ono, whose best run earned an 83.75. Japan sent three riders into the final, tied with China for the most for any country. Sena and Ruki Tomita qualifying fifth and sixth to join Ono while China’s Cai Xuetong, who entered the competition as the top-ranked snowboarder in the world, qualified third with an 82.25 after falling on her second run. Cai’s teammates Liu Jiayu and Qiu Leng qualified in seventh and 12th, respectively.


From Nathan Fenno: Two days after the Winter Olympics started with a shocking ‘did not finish’ in the giant slalom for Mikaela Shiffrin, she returned to the Yanqing National Alpine Centre looking for redemption.

Instead, the world’s best female skier ended up with more heartbreak.

Shiffrin skied out seconds into the first run of the slalom Wednesday, abruptly ending medal hopes in her signature event. She sat next to orange safety netting, head buried in her arms, skis and poles laying nearby in the snow.

Not finishing any race is unusual enough for the two-time Olympic gold medalist. But doing so in back-to-back races at the Winter Olympics where she was expected to challenge for medals in five individual events is something no one could have predicted.


Natalie Geisenberger of Germany became the first to win the Olympic women’s luge competition three times Tuesday night at the 2022 Games.


Her four-run time at the Yanqing Sliding Center was 3 minutes, 53.454 seconds — 0.493 seconds ahead of silver medalist Anna Berreiter of Germany and 1.053 seconds ahead of bronze medalist Tatiana Ivanova of the Russian team.

“It’s hard to compare Olympic medals because every one has its own history,“ Geisenberger said. “My first was very, very special because it was the first. Now I’m a third-time Olympic champion, but the first time as a mother. It’s just great.“


Wednesday’s TV schedule


12 a.m. – 12:50 a.m.

Men’s Nordic combined – Individual normal hill (Live)

12:50 a.m. – 3 a.m.


Men’s ice hockey – Russian Olympic Committee vs. Switzerland (Live)

3 a.m. – 5:30 a.m.

Women’s short track speedskating – Relay semifinals

Men’s Short track speedskating – 1,500 meters (Live)

5:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.

Men’s ice hockey – Czech Republic vs. Denmark (Live)

7:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Men’s curling – China vs. Sweden

Doubles luge – Final runs

Men’s Nordic combined – Individual 10 kilometers

2 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Men’s curling – United States vs. Russian Olympic Committee

Men’s Nordic combined – Individual 10 kilometers

Men’s Nordic combined – Individual normal hill

5:30 p.m. - 7:20 p.m.

Men’s figure skating – Free skate (Live)

7:20 p.m. – 11:25 p.m.


Men’s Snowboard cross qualifying (Live)

Doubles luge – Final runs

Men’s Skeleton – First and second runs


11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Women’s Alpine skiing – Slalom final

Women’s snowboarding – Cross final

Doubles luge – Final runs

Men’s Nordic combined – Individual normal hill and 10 kilometers

5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Women’s snowboarding – Halfpipe final (Live)

Men’s figure skating – Free skate (Live)

Men’s Alpine skiing – Downhill combined

Men’s short track speedskating – 1,500m final

10:05 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Men’s Alpine skiing – Slalom combined (Live)


2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Men’s curling – United States vs. Russian Olympic Committee

5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Women’s curling – United States vs. Russian Olympic Committee (Live)

8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Men’s ice hockey – Sweden vs. Latvia (Live)


Beijing Olympics live: Latest news and results from the 24th Winter Games



Dan Woike on the Lakers: When asked about the Milwaukee Bucks Monday afternoon, LeBron James bristled at the idea that Tuesday’s game between the teams would be a chance for the Lakers to figure out where they stood in the NBA hierarchy.

“We know where we are right now,” he said somberly.

They’re stuck, mediocrity caked all over this team 55 games into a season where success could only be achieved with a championship and everything else meant failure to one degree or another.

It was more of the same for the Lakers Tuesday, losing to the Bucks 131-116 two days before the NBA’s trade deadline. With teams behind them in the standings making moves to try and push them out of the postseason, the Lakers quickly fell behind by double-digits before a late flurry made things briefly interesting.

It didn’t matter – not changing where the Lakers are right now even in the slightest.

Earlier Tuesday, the Sacramento Kings added multi-time all-star Domantas Sabonis. The New Orleans Pelicans traded for C.J. McCollum. And the Lakers, mostly saddled with the roster they have, were badly beaten by one of the NBA’s best teams, the game never really being in question.

It ended with James on the bench, his sneakers already off, sitting next to Anthony Davis. Russell Westbrook came over, patted James on the top of the head and Davis on the shoulder, trying to better the situation.

It didn’t appear to make anything better.


Andrew Greif on the Clippers: It wasn’t so much a third quarter as it was a bludgeoning, a statement of intent that the Memphis Grizzlies — brash and unapologetic for it all season — have made abundantly clear on their way to the NBA’s third-best record.


Trailing by 12 points two minutes into the third quarter Tuesday night at FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn., the Clippers were gamely hanging around despite numerous ways they had tried to allow a Grizzlies blowout in the first half. Just eight minutes later, the Clippers trailed by 30, Memphis making its move like its All-Star guard, Ja Morant — fast and ruthless.

The Clippers already had lost three times to Memphis this season, with each following a similar blueprint: The Grizzlies have been tougher, more physical, more difficult to defend close to the basket. But even judged against that history, Tuesday’s season sweep-ensuring loss was this matchup at its most lopsided after being blown open during a third quarter that Memphis won by 14 points.

“Just wasn’t physical enough from start to finish at all five positions,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said.

The 135-109 loss, the Clippers’ largest margin of defeat this season and the second time in as many games they have allowed 135 points or more, was a bitter way to enter the final hours leading into Thursday’s noon PST trade deadline.


NBA trade deadline: Pelicans acquire C.J. McCollum; Pacers-Kings swap six players


Bill Shaikin and Richard Winton on the Trevor Bauer case: After a five-month review of the Pasadena police investigation into allegations of sexual assault against him, Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer will not face criminal charges, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office announced Tuesday.


That the district attorney decided criminal charges were not warranted does not mean Bauer has been cleared to rejoin the Dodgers. Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred retains the right to suspend Bauer.

Manfred is widely expected to do so, but not soon. MLB issued a statement moments after the district attorney decision: “MLB’s investigation is ongoing, and we will comment further at the appropriate time.”


Plaschke: Dodgers must make it clear Trevor Bauer will never pitch for them again

Q&A: What will Trevor Bauer face from MLB now that criminal charges won’t be filed?

In seven-minute video, Trevor Bauer breaks his silence and denies assault


Ben Bolch on the Bruins: It may not have been exactly according to plan, but it was close enough.


The plan, if UCLA could script its evening inside Maples Pavilion, was for this makeup game to take on a double meaning.

In the literal sense, the Bruins were playing a game against Stanford that had been postponed early last month by the pandemic’s ceaseless grip on college basketball.

But there was a lot more making up to do for a team that had turned in a pair of desert duds last week during losses to Arizona and Arizona State.

The uncharacteristic defensive lapses. The dubious late-game decision-making. The widening gulf between the Bruins and frontrunner Arizona in the Pac-12 Conference standings.

If UCLA was to have any chance of catching the Wildcats, it would need to start Tuesday night.

Johnny Juzang made sure his team got where it needed to go with a scoring spree reminiscent of his strong play in the last NCAA tournament, carrying the No. 12 Bruins to a 79-70 victory over the Cardinal.



Megan Garcia on the Trojans: Though Pacific was not on the schedule back when the season started in November, Harrison Hornery calculated the best way to cancel out the Tigers’ offense.

Once he planted his feet and initiated a slight bend in his knees, the follow-through motion left his right hand in direct alignment with the ball bouncing on the rim. From the corners and at the top of the arc, Hornery’s three-point magic whisked No. 21 USC away in a 74-68 win Tuesday night at the Galen Center.

Hornery, the freshman from Toowoomba, Australia, had been waiting for his moment to finally come to fruition. A stacked front court had limited him to six games for a combined 16 minutes on the floor prior to the Trojans’ game against Pacific.

It may just be a glimpse of what is expected out of Hornery, but his 14 minutes off the bench against the Tigers was enough to reassure him that patience is a virtue.


Jorge Castillo on the trial: More than two years after Tyler Skaggs died in a suburban Dallas hotel room, the man charged with supplying the drugs that killed him went on trial Tuesday in a courthouse 15 miles away.

Inside Room 205 in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, a federal prosecutor, during a 30-minute opening statement, told jurors that evidence and witness statements — some from as many as seven former Angels players — will prove Eric Kay, a former Angels communications director, guilty of supplying the drugs that led to Skaggs, a popular 27-year-old Angels pitcher who died after choking on his own vomit in a suburban Dallas hotel room.


“Eric Kay is the one person who provided counterfeit oxycodone pills to Tyler Skaggs,” Lindsey Beran, an assistant U.S. attorney, contended. “And Tyler Skaggs is dead because of it.”

Kay’s lawyer countered the prosecution’s narrative with a bombshell allegation: By Kay’s account, Matt Harvey, Skaggs’ teammate, could have provided the drugs that led to Skaggs’ death.


Jordin Canada, a two-time WNBA champion with the Seattle Storm who starred at L.A. Windward High and UCLA, has signed with the Sparks. Terms of the deal were not released.

The 5-foot-6 point guard was drafted No. 5 overall by Seattle in 2018. Canada, 26, played four seasons with the Storm, averaging 7.2 points, 4.1 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals a game. She won WNBA championships in 2018 and 2020.


1912 — The U.S. Tennis Association amends the rules for the men’s singles championship play. The defending champion is required to play through the tournament instead of waiting for the tournament to produce a challenger.

1940 — Joe Louis beats Arturo Godoy with a split decision to defend his world heavyweight title at Madison Square Garden.


1966 — The NHL doubles in size — from six to 12 teams — when the Owners-Governors award franchises to Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and St. Louis.

1986 — Detroit’s Isiah Thomas scores 30 points and hands out 10 assists to lead the East to a 139-132 win in the All-Star Game in Dallas.

1988 — Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins scores a record six points — three goals and three assists — to lead the Wales Conference to a 6-5 victory over the Campbell Conference in the NHL All-Star game.

1991 — Terry Norris knocks down Sugar Ray Leonard twice and beats him up over 12 rounds in Leonard’s Madison Square Garden debut and final fight. Norris wins a unanimous decision.

1992 — Magic Johnson, playing for the first time since announcing his retirement on Nov. 7, scores a game-high 25 points and hands out nine assists to lead the West to a 153-113 win over the East in the NBA All-Star Game at the Orlando Arena.

1997 — Glen Rice breaks two scoring records in an MVP performance and Michael Jordan has the first triple-double in NBA All-Star game history. The East rallies to beat the West 132-120. Rice, who finishes with 26 points, sets records with 20 in the third quarter and 24 in the second half.


2009 — Lindsey Vonn wins the downhill for her second gold at the World Championships in Val D’isere, France. Vonn becomes the second American woman to win two golds at a worlds. Andrea Mead Lawrence won the slalom and giant slalom at the 1952 Oslo Olympics, which doubled as the worlds.

2013 — Cameron Biedscheid scores on a layup with 1:19 left in the fifth overtime, and Eric Atkins and Pat Connaugton add free throws in the final 19 seconds as No. 25 Notre Dame overcomes an eight-point deficit in regulation to beat No. 11 Louisville 104-101. The Cardinals led 56-48 with 51 seconds left in regulation. It’s the sixth time in the last eight meetings that a game between the Fighting Irish and the Cardinals goes into overtime.

2014 — Missouri All-American defensive end Michael Sam comes out to the nation. In interviews with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports, Sam says he came out to all his teammates and coaches at Missouri in August.

2015 — San Antonio rallies from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit and gets an 18-foot baseline jumper from Marco Belinelli with 2.1 seconds left to give coach Greg Popovich 1,000 wins with a 95-93 victory at Indiana.

Supplied by the Associated Press

And finally

Magic Johnson returns in the 1992 All-Star game. Watch and listen here.


Until next time...

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