Update: All’s well that ends well, at least in the men’s halfpipe final at the 2022 Games. Hirano landed yet another triple cork and finished the run cleanly. The judges made no mistake here, rewarding the Japanese snowboarder with a gold medal.
Japan’s Ayumu Hirano found himself in second place after landing the insane triple cork again in his second run in the men’s halfpipe final, which left viewers and snowboarding fans shocked. NBC announcer Todd Richards voiced those collective frustrations in an all-time rant regarding judging at the Olympics. Take a look.
I don't think I've ever heard an announcer on NBC's Olympics coverage be this critical of anything before. pic.twitter.com/sFUwRPWLzG— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) February 11, 2022
The judges put Hirano behind Australian Scotty James, who was also flawless on his run. However, James didn’t attempt the triple cork and did not have the difficulty of Hirano’s effort.
Richards’ outburst was a rare moment showing NBC being outright appalled by the judges. Given the network’s investment in the Games and going to great lengths to protect those rights, it’s crazy to hear this time of commentary. We’ll see if Hirano can get back on top in his third run and give the judges a chance to rectify their error.