Shaun White withdraws from Olympic slopestyle

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White Hurts Wrist During Training Run


KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) - Shaun White pulled out of the Olympic slopestyle contest Wednesday after being dinged up on a course that riders are criticizing as unduly harsh.

White issued a statement to the "Today" show, saying that after much deliberation, he has decided to forgo the new snowboarding event and concentrate on halfpipe, where he will try for his third straight gold medal next week.

White, who was among the favorites in the new Olympic event, jammed his left wrist during practice Tuesday and when he came off the slopestyle course. He called it "a little intimidating."

Slopestyle is a speed-packed trip down the mountain, filled with rails, bumps and, most notably, steeply angled jumps that allow riders to flip two, sometimes three times, before landing.

The 27-year-old snowboarding star has been dealing with a number of nagging injuries during a winter in which he's one of the few riders trying to compete in both events. The wrist added to a list that includes his shoulder and ankle, both injured during qualifying events for the U.S. team.

In the statement, he said, "the potential risk of injury is a bit too much for me to gamble my other Olympic goals on."

But he will compete in the halfpipe, which is essentially a hollowed-out ice shell with 22-foot sidewalls. There is danger there, but unlike slopestyle, it's based mostly on the types of tricks the riders try and not the setup of the pipe.

Shaun White withdraws from Olympic slopestyle
FILE- In this Dec. 22, 2013, file photo, Shaun White slides off a rail during the U.S. Grand Prix slopestyle snowboarding finals in Frisco, Colo. White finished third in the event. White heads to the Sochi winter Olympics as arguably the most famous athlete competing: "It's going to push me to do things I never would've done before," he says. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)
Olympic gold medalist Shaun White appears during an interview on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011, in Salt Lake City. White may experience a mid-life crisis of sorts when he turns 25 on Saturday, yet the Olympic gold medalist and reigning X Games champ still dreams big. (AP Photo/Lynn DeBruin)
Olympic champion Shaun White of the USA celebrate after the men's snowboard halfpipe final at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Shaun White of the USA compete in the men's halfpipe final at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)
Shaun White of the USA competes in the men's snowboard halfpipe final competition at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
FILE - In this March 10, 2012, file photo, Shaun White competes in the men's halfpipe finals at the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships in Stratton, Vt. White has his sights set on slopestyle as he looks to parlay his dominance in the halfpipe into credibility in the newest Olympic sport where he is currently just another rider and hardly feared. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)
US snowboarder Shaun White speaks during a press conference at Gorky Media Center the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre on February 5, 2014. White admitted on February 3 that Sochi's daunting slopestyle course which has already claimed two injury victims presented an 'intimidating' challenge. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 03: Shaun White of the United States trains during Snowboard Slopestyle practice at the Extreme Park at Rosa Khutor Mountain ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on February 3, 2014 in Sochi, Russia (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
US snowboarder Shaun White speaks during a press conference at Gorky Media Center the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre on February 5, 2014. White admitted on February 3 that Sochi's daunting slopestyle course which has already claimed two injury victims presented an 'intimidating' challenge. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
MAMMOTH, CA - JANUARY 19: Shaun White reacts after he is introduced as a member of the United States Olympic team for both Snowboarding Slopestyle and Halfpipe at the 2014 Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain Resort on January 19, 2014 in Mammoth, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
MAMMOTH, CA - JANUARY 16: Shaun White waits after a fall during the Men's Snowboarding Slopestyle Final U.S. Olympic Qualification #3 at the 2014 Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain Resort on January 16, 2014 in Mammoth, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Shaun White (USA), gold medal winner, competing in the Men's Snowboard Halfpipe event at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games
Shaun White (USA), gold medal winner, competing in the Men's Snowboard Halfpipe event at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games
Shaun White (USA), wins the gold medal in the Men's Snowboard Halfpipe event at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games
Shaun White (USA), wins the gold medal in the Men's Snowboard Halfpipe event at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games
US Snowboarding Grand Prix Half Pipe @ Mammoth Mountain Ca
United States Shaun White reacts after seeing his score on the first run of the Men's Halfpipe Snowboard competition at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Bardonecchia, Italy Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006. White's 46.8 held up to give him the gold medal. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
United States Shaun White sails through the air in his second run to take the gold medal for the Men's Halfpipe Snowboard competition at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Bardonecchia, Italy Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006. American Daniel Kass took the silver medal, Finland's Markku Koski took bronze. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
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