Japanese teen poses big threat to Shaun White

Sykose Extreme Sports News

Ayumu Hirano of Japan poses on the podium after winning the Mens FIS Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup Finals on August 24, 2013 in Wanaka, New Zealand.

COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. – Moments before he put down an X Games run that would make him the youngest medalist ever, Ayumu Hirano crashed hard enough to crack his helmet.

From 13 feet up, he hit the deck of the halfpipe before falling another 22 feet to the flat bottom. He was sore, getting the wind knocked out of him, but not concussed. At his first X Games, Hirano, then 14, could have easily walked away. The snowboarder would have plenty more chances to compete in an event he’d watched on DVD at home in Japan as a kid, his coaches told him.


Full run, he said, landing the same run he’d crashed on to take silver. Since medaling in Aspen in…

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