Ayumu Hirano won his first Olympic gold medal in the men’s snowboarding halfpipe final on Thursday night.
And he needed to overcome some harsh scoring from the judges to do so.
A two-time silver medalist in the event, Hirano hit a triple cork during a stunning second run.
Many, including NBC snowboarding analyst Todd Richards, thought the run was worthy of putting Hirano into first place, with Richards calling it “the best run that’s ever been done in the halfpipe.”
But the judges didn’t agree.
Hirano was given a score of 91.75
“As far as I’m concerned, the judges just grenaded all their credibility,” Richards said. “I’ve been doing this for so long. I know what a good run looks like. I know the ingredients of a winning run. I know when I see the best run that’s ever been done in the halfpipe. Try to tell me where you’re deducting from this run. It’s unbelievable that this is even happing. It’s a travesty to be completely honest with you.”
The 91.75 score put Hirano in second place at the time, behind Australia’s Scotty James who scored a 92.50 on his second run.
The 22-year-old remained unfazed despite the harsh scoring from the judges, nailing yet another triple cork in his final run and securing victory.