VANCOUVER -- Shaun White's soaring performance in Wednesday's halfpipe competition yielded lots of gold: a medal for himself, along with a marketing bonanza for McDonalds.
A minute after securing the gold medal, White took his victory run, capping it with an element sure to make the most hyped list of 2010, just after the iPad -- a Double McTwist 1260, involving 3 1/2 twists and two flips.
The name of White's jaw-dropping move drew immediate comparisons to burger giant McDonalds. "The Double McTwist, the Big Mac, whatever you want to call it," said NBC's snowboarding announcer, wiping drool off of his chin. "I don't care what you're going to call it, that was unbelievable."
But if In-and-Out Burger has its way, NBC commentators Pat Parnell and Todd Richards will be making no reference to the golden arches at the Olympics in 2014 to be held in Sochi, Russia. The West Coast-based burger chain with an intensely loyal cult following struck a deal with White's agent Thursday morning to secure exclusive tie-ins for the daredevil's tricks.
According to an individual involved in the negotiations, "In-and-Out Burger and Shaun White are a perfect match. They both originated in California and are the epitome of cool."
Additionally, the nomenclature for the "secret menu" at In-and-Out Burger already aligns nicely with White's elements. Customers in the know can order a three-by-three -- standing for three meat patties with three slices of cheese.
Four years from now, In-and-Out Burger hopes that Parnell and Richards will be trumpeting White's successful completion of a four-by-four, animal style -- four twists, four flips with the extra amplitude and flair that is White's trademark.
In fact, one of White's nicknames is "Animal," and any burger or french fries at In-and-Out can be ordered "animal style" with pickles, extra spread, extra grilled onions and fried mustard on each patty.
As news of the deal began to leak out, the main reaction from other competitors was envy. But Dolf Van der Wal of the Netherlands, who finished 18th in the qualifying round, was already angling for a small slice of the endorsment pie, saying that he would happy to be known as "The Flying Dutchman" (two meat patties, two slices of cheese, no bun).