"I really give him a lot of respect", White said of Hirano, who he has seen since the Japanese was 13.
In the lawsuit, Lena Zawaideh, a former member of White's band charged that the gold-medal victor consistently sexually harassed her for the seven years they worked together and sent her unsolicited "sexually explicit and graphic images", according to USA Today. The lawsuit also alleges that White once forced her to drink a bottle of vodka and that he "stuck his hands down his trousers, approached Zawaideh, and stuck his hands in her face trying to make her smell them".
Mr. White's comments, on the world stage, directly impugn the character of Ms. Zawaideh.
"I remember being handed the flag but I was trying to put my gloves on and hold the flag and get board", he told reporters at a press conference afterwards. Zawaideh - who belonged to White's band, Bad Things - also said the snowboarder grabbed her buttocks and forced her to drink alcohol.
A representative for Ms. Zawaideh said that she was not available for comment.
But increasingly, there are headlines like this one, from The Independent (U.K.): "Shaun White makes history with third gold medal but sexual miscondcut claim tarnishes win". He asked San Diego Superior Court to force Zawaideh to undergo a mental health evaluation, the newspaper said.
The lawsuit included screengrabs of text messages allegedly sent by White asking about the haircut and suggesting she wear a provocative outfit.
Shaun White's latest masterful performance in the halfpipe was barely five hours old. Call time for tomorrow is 1:45 I need u to go out in the morning and have your hair cut in a new style at shoulder or above but keep your bangs.
"I think I will carry on", White said.
His Olympic snowboarding career may be over, but White said he plans to compete in skateboarding when the sport makes its debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Zawaideh: Yes, I'm very confident in this decision. I feel like having more open conversations with everyone about these topics would help us out in the future. "Thank you, I'm feeling blessed", White added.
Yet White had the top of the podium locked up during his last sprint down the pipe on both occasions.
Social media users condemned the three-time Olympic gold medallist for letting the flag touch the snow several times while rejoicing his dramatic win at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.
After winning Olympic gold in Torino and Vancouver, White finished a disappointing fourth in Sochi.
In Wednesday's final run, White posted a score of 97.75, a performance significantly more hard and measurably more dazzling than anything he'd done before on an Olympic stage.
Svindal Oldest To Win Alpine Gold
He went wide at one turn and fought through the air off one jump while posting the eventual eighth-fastest time at the mid-point. But once it finally commenced, the wait was well worth it as Svindal made history. 4/5-mile (2.9-kilometer) course at Jeongseon.