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I-Pod, the Sochi Olympic Champion Snowboarder Retires

One of the biggest names in snowboarding, Iouri Podladtchikov, aka I-Pod, has dropped into the halfpipe for the last time as a competitor. Thanks for the memories…

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The Russian-born Swiss national confirmed his retirement, first reported in a Swiss newspaper at the weekend.

I-Pod is the only man to beat the legendary American Shaun White to a Winter Games gold medal in four Olympics.

The 31-year-old took halfpipe gold at Sochi, robbing his friend White of his third Olympic victory in a row.

I-Pod was unable to defend his title at the Pyeongchang Games in February 2018 after sustaining a traumatic brain injury in a crash at the Winter X Games two weeks before.

White went on to win.

Shaun White & Iouri Podladtchikov at the Dew Tour Dec 2015 - photo IP Facebook

Shaun White & Iouri Podladtchikov at the Dew Tour in December 2015 – photo Iouri Podladtchikov

Podladtchikov has come back from a series of nasty injuries over his career, including a torn anterior cruciate ligament at the 2017 World Championships in Spain.

Ten months after the brain injury that ruled him out of Pyeongchang he broke his nose and suffered concussion at his comeback competition in China.

Two months after that, in February 2019, he ruptured his achilles tendon at the Freestyle World Championships in Park City, Utah and had to have surgery.

He competed a final time at the Laax Open in Switzerland last winter, finishing in 5th place.

According to the Swiss newspaper, Tages Anzeiger, I-Pod was keen to compete one more time so he did not retire injured.

The Swiss Snowboard Freestyle Team has paid tribute to him on its Facebook page.

“Let‘s send our bittersweet farewell to one of the greatest snowboarders in the world: Olympic gold medalist, world champion & multiple X-Games medal winner, Iouri Podladtchikov. He’s pulling the plug on his career after 16 years of competitive snowboarding.”

“THANK YOU for everything you’ve done for the sport and all the best for all your future endeavours, champion Iouri.”

Thank you, Iouri

Let‘s send our bittersweet farewell to one of the greatest snowboarder in the world: Olympic gold medalist, world champion & multiple X-Games medal winner, Iouri Podladtchikov. 💛 He's pulling the plug on his career after 16 years of competitive snowboarding. THANK YOU for everything you’ve done for the sport and all the best for all your future endeavors, champion Iouri. #swisssnowboard #champion #wewillmissyou #allthebest

Posted by Swiss Snowboard Freestyle Team on Saturday, 22 August 2020

I-Pod started snowboarding in 2000.

On Monday he shared a photo of himself at his first competition, a junior jam in Laax, 20 years ago.

Iouri Podladtchikov at first competition in 2000

Iouri Podladtchikov at his first competition in 2000

He became known for his signature trick, known as the YOLO flip – a cab double cork 1440.

He landed it on his way to gold at Sochi.

Here is the first time he landed the YOLO in competition, at the X-Games in Tignes in 2013:

That same year he became World Champion.  He also has two silver World Championships medals.

He has two silvers and a bronze from the Winter X Games in Aspen (2010, 2012, 2015) and a silver from the Winter X Games in Oslo in 2016.

Iouri Podladtchikov at the Winter X Games 2016 - photo Facebook

At the 2016 Winter X Games

Sochi 2014 was his last major victory.

Podladtchikov said in 2016 that he planned to try to compete at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo – now postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus – in the new Olympic event of skateboarding.

He began skateboarding before he took up snowboarding.

I-Pod is known for his many interests.

One of is great passions in photography.  He also trained in ballet and studied art history at Zurich University.

He is understood to have re-enrolled at the university to focus on photography and writing.

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