How Olympic Judges ‘Grenaded Their Credibility’ On Ayumu Hirano’s Snowboard Run

'I am irate right now'


Feb 11, 2022

Ayumu Hirano proved not all eye tests are created equal.

Judges awarded the snowboarder from Japan a curiously low score for his second run in the men’s halfpipe competition at the Beijing Olympics on Thursday. Judges scored his near-perfect run as a 91.75, causing snowboarding legend-turned-NBC analyst Todd Richards’ blood to boil.

“Uhhhhh, what?” Richards said after seeing Hirano’s score, per Yahoo Sports’ Wenzell Ortiz. “Is there a mistake? How did that — wait a minute. There’s no way. There is nooo way! A 91.75?”

Richards’ rebuke of the judges continued on the other side of a commercial break.

“As far as I’m concerned, the judges just grenaded all their credibility,” he continued. “That run — I’ve been doing this for so long. Soooo 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 a halfpipe. Try to tell me where you’re deducting from this run. It’s unbelievable that this is even happening. It’s a travesty to be completely honest with you. I am irate right now.”

Hirano showed his championship mettle in his third run, delivering a competition-high 96 on his third, and final, run.

Having overcome his astonishment, Richards was determined not to let others downplay Hirano’s achievement.

“Justice,” Richards said. “That run is the heaviest run that has ever been done in a halfpipe. I will say that. It will echo through social media for the next however long. Ayumu Hirano. The G, the new king.”

Well said. That’s good TV.

Thumbnail photo via Jack Gruber/USA TODAY Sports Images
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