Ayumu Hirano of Team Japan at the Winter Olympics. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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Viewers watching the Winter Olympics halfpipe snowboarding competition were irate over Japan’s Ayumu Hirano getting a low score for an unprecedented run.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a snowboarding expert or a casual fan, when the Olympics are on, the halfpipe event is a must-watch.
So there were plenty of people tuning in on Thursday night when Shaun White took a run at another gold medal.
Except it wasn’t White who turned heads during the final. It was Ayumu Hirano with his triple cork that put people’s jaws on the floor. And it was the panel of judges who dropped them even lower.
Somehow, someway, the judges put Hirano in second place after this incredible run.
Todd Richards was doing commentary for NBC and he could not believe his eyes when the score came through.
“As far as I’m concerned the judges just grenaded all their credibility,” Richards ranted. “Try to tell me where you’re deducting from this run. It’s unbelievable that this is even happening. It’s a travesty that this is even happening. I’m irate right now.”
Olympics viewers were ready to go to war for Ayumu Hirano
Viewers on Twitter, both experts and newcomers, were just as confused and angered by the judges’ decision.
So Ayumu Hirano lays down a never before seen trick in a perfect run and somehow checks in with a second place score in men’s halfpipe?
The math ain’t mathing.
— Andrew G. Haubner (@A_G_Haubner) February 11, 2022
Everybody drag the USA judge for giving Ayumu Hirano a freaking 89. How do you score that under, like, 95?
— Matt (@womprat208) February 11, 2022
I know very, very little about snowboarding, but even I’m raging here 😂how in the absolute world did Ayumu Hirano not just move into first in halfpipe?? When that run was otherworldly?? #triplegate #halfpipe
— Willy (@mmichelewilly) February 11, 2022
I learned about the existence of Ayumu Hirano approximately 18 minutes ago and I am ready to go to war against the International Olympic Committee to get him justice.
— Laura (@LauraLangan) February 11, 2022
an hour ago I knew nothing about halfpipe snowboarding and now I’m screaming at the tv that ayumu hirano got robbed
— mk (@_mvmrn) February 11, 2022
I really hope Ayumu Hirano comes out furious and goes ten feet higher somehow on the next run
— Jeremy Layton (@JeremyLayt0n) February 11, 2022
The good thing is Hirano gave the judges no choice but to give him a score more befitting his performance on his third and final run. His 96.00 secured him the gold medal and ensured justice was done.
White, who just missed out on a medal, was eager to congratulate the new gold medalist.
WOW, time flies!! A ton of respect for Ayumu Hirano. We’ve both been at this game for a long time! Great to see him crushing it here in Swiss! pic.twitter.com/4RSUvDFi8S
— Shaun White (@shaunwhite) October 24, 2021
As they say, all’s well that ends well. Hirano didn’t leave his gold medal to chance. That doesn’t mean the judges at the Olympics shouldn’t take a hard look at how they dole out scores.