Labour of love – half-pipe champion Podladtchikov reveals secret behind his “Yolo flip”
Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov made his name last March by becoming the first person to land a cab double cork 1440 trick, which he then dubbed the "Yolo flip" – which stands for “You only live once”.
Podladtchikov’s signature move – widely regarded as one of the most complicated in the discipline – was once again centrepiece his gold-medal-winning display in the men’s snowboard halfpipe at Sochi 2014.
The 25-year-old pulled off the trick in his final run to wow both fans and judges, who awarded him a winning score of 94.75, enabling him to dethrone two-time Olympic champion, Shaun White, and cause one of the biggest upsets of the Games so far.
Now, the newly crowned champion has revealed that the trick was actually inspired by the desire to impress a girl.
“The original story of the Yolo trick was that I was trying to impress a girl,” he explains.
Another funny thing is that she asked me why didn't I call the trick after her! I mean what do you have to do to impress a girl? Iouri Podladtchikov Switzerland - Iouri Podladtchikov Switzerland
Pushing the envelope
Meanwhile, White has paid the ultimate tribute to his friend and rival, acknowledging him a worthy successor as Olympic champion.
“I've known Iouri for a couple of years now. He's a really great guy. He's always smiling, always happy,” said White, who claimed the first two Olympic men’s half-pipe titles at Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010.
“He deserves a big win like this, added White. “He's been pushing it hard and it's nice to see someone that's out there and really stepping it up and doing new tricks and pushing the envelope of what's possible in the half-pipe. Congrats man!”
Podladtchikov was equally full of praise for the American, who has done so much to push to take the discipline of half-pipe to a new level over the last decade.
“With me and Shaun, we want each other to win because we're trying things differently and it feels kind of unique sometimes,” he added.