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Teammate Scotty Lago, who finished a somewhat surprising third, called White one of the most "dedicated and focused" people he knows.
White needed the focus following a rare loss to Danny Davis in January. Davis put together a run so perfect White opted to skip some downtime with his family in California to head to Utah and put the finishing touches on "The Tomahawk."
He'd been working on the trick for a year, injuring his ankle in the process, before unveiling it in Park City last month. He posted scores of 49 and 49.5 -- within a point of perfection -- that weekend.
A few days later, the trick White says is his "best friend and worst enemy" paid him back. He suffered a vicious wipeout at the Winter X Games when his face hit the deck in practice. He bounced back hours later to win gold.
It was sweet. But it wasn't the Olympics, a fact he emphasized with his teammates last week.
Walking into the opening ceremony with Olympic newcomers Lago, Greg Bretz and Louie Vito, White waved his hands at the pomp and circumstance and said, "this isn't the X Games, is it?
Even for a veteran, there were jitters. White simply tried to survive his qualifying heat, putting together a conservative run so he could focus on the finals.
Once there, he was all business. Then he sat at the top of the hill and watched as the rest of the field took its best shot.
Switzerland's Iouri Podladtchikova -- the "I-Pod" -- one of White's top challengers, said it would take three "Double Corks" to challenge White. He didn't even get off two in the finals. And really, it likely wouldn't have been enough anyway.
"He can do even better, seriously, he can do better," Podladtchikova said. "I'm pretty stoked. He rode super high and super stylish. I like to watch that."
So does everyone else.
When's the show going to end? Not anytime soon. White says he likely has another Olympics in him and will take some time to focus on the skateboarding, surfing and learning a few new cords on his guitar.
White's celebration put the cap on a remarkable day for the United States in Vancouver. Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso went 1-2 in the women's downhill while Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick finished first and third in the men's 1000-meter speedskating.
Combined with White and Lago's medals, the U.S. won six in all, one more than it collected on Feb. 20, 2002 during the Salt Lake games.
But Vonn and Davis -- actually, hardly anyone really -- have ever enjoyed a victory lap like White's. He didn't disappoint. Who knows what's next?
"We try to break the boundaries and see what we can do," he said. "I think we're just tapping into what is possible. I wish I could predict the future. We have to go create it. It's a cool position to be in."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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