Shaun White's reaction to winning the gold medal tells you everything you need to know about how badly he wanted it.

If you doubted for one second how much missing the podium in Sochi meant to White and how important redemption was to him, his tearful reaction was enough to prove you wrong.

WATCH: Shaun White's epic run to win the gold medal

White was the last to go on Tuesday, and he sat in second place behind Japan's Ayumu Hirano going into his final run. Hirano had done back-to-back 1440s followed by consecutive 1260s. It put him in first with 95.25 points going into the final round.

White fell on his second run.

But by his third, White regained his composure and gave a run that will go down in history. He, too, did back-to-back 1440s followed by consecutive 1260s. He also did his signature double McTwist. But he did everything higher and better, like he always does.

He waited patiently for the score, and when the 97.75 popped up on the screen, he fell to his knees. He embraced Hirano and wrapped himself in the American flag.

When he saw his mother, he lost it. He fell into her arms, crying. The same with his dad, who told reporters earlier that he had never seen White cry.

It's the third Olympic gold medal for White. But these are tears of relief after a long, four-year journey that involved many low points in his life.

It also may be the realization that this is the end. That could have been the last time White, 31, competes on the Olympic stage. If so, he ends his career in absolute glory having won America's 100th Winter Olympics gold medal.

How fitting.