For White, who is chasing a record third Olympic snowboarding gold medal, qualifying was all about finishing first so that he gets the chance to send down the very last run in the final.
After the first run, White led all scores. She won four years ago in Sochi.
However, some social media users were unhappy with the sight of White dragging the American flag along the floor after his triumph.
"Oh man, that was very bad and wonderful at the same time", he said.
"I didn't even link the combination, the 14 to 14, until I got here, today, this morning. I had this insane injury in New Zealand where I busted my face open", he said.
"I actually did the same trick that injured me here in the halfpipe today". So there were a lot of obstacles to overcome and now it's all worth it.
James was second on 96.75 and Hirano third on 95.25.
But are they the youngest Winter Olympians ever from Team USA? Red Gerard and Jamie Anderson won the men's and women's slopestyle contests, and Chloe Kim won the women's halfpipe event.
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He has been determined to show snowboardings next generation that he is no spent force after scoring a controversial ideal 100 in Colorado last month that sparked accusations of favouritism.
In the last round, with the last run of the final, White managed to pull out a near-perfect run to steal gold.
His watching family were "beside themselves", he said.
"I am who I am and I'm proud of who I am and my friends, you know, love me and vouch for me and I think that stands on its own".
"Each and every one of the 100 times we have heard our national anthem play in Olympic Winter Games competition has been a truly unique and special moment", said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.