SOCHI SCENE: A Shaun White hug

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) Hours before he went for the win, Shaun White already had delivered a gold-medal moment.

Shortly after qualifying for the Olympic halfpipe final Tuesday, White vaulted the barriers separating him from the fans and gave two young cancer patients high-fives and hugs.

''I thought, `He's here? What?''' said Ben Hughes, a 10-year-old from St. Louis who was diagnosed with leukemia four years ago.

Also sharing the love was 19-year-old Kaitlyn Lyle, who, like Hughes, was in Russia courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Lyle said she had ''liked'' White on his Facebook page.

''I had no idea he'd do this,'' she said.

She was diagnosed a bit before the Vancouver Olympics and her wish was to come to Russia, where she was torn between asking for tickets for figure skating or snowboarding.

''But when I saw Shaun win gold (in Vancouver), I chose snowboarding,'' she said.

Good choice.

- By Eddie Pells - Twitter https://twitter.com/epells

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Associated Press reporters will be filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu

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