Posted February 12, 2014 04:17 pm - Updated February 12, 2014 04:18 pm

A winner

Shaun White didn't medal in the halfpipe Tuesday.

But he won.

After qualifying for the event, he violated normal competitor protocol by hopping over a mesh fence (grabbing some of the biggest air of the day, it was reported) to give high-fives and hugs to two youngsters who were cancer survivors.

He totally surprised the youths after he was told why they were there.

Both were at the Winter Olympics in Sochi as guest of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Both Ben Hughes (leukemia), 10, and Katie Lyle (bone) are cancer survivors. Both are snowboarding fans.

When White won his gold medal at Vancouver Olympics, Lyle was going through treatment and became a fan. "Watching him compete, he has such sportsmanship," she told the New York Daily News. "He's so lively; he's so full of life — he just really inspired me."

"This is his highlight," said Liz Hughes, Ben's mother. "We didn't expect that at all. This is the trip of a lifetime for Ben."

No medal, but a golden moment.