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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.
Sochi is looking more and more marginal as a venue
Shaun White is the most Talented Halfpipe Skier, hopefully he can take another Gold Medal for the United States. Shaun White I will be praying for you
if Shaun White is pulling out it must be a dangerous course
Bummer for Shawn and the USA.
Just stay safe. You will do just great..
I love it, a thrill to watch. Just hope we don't have to watch so many boring commercials!
We are proud of you no matter what you decide. You have done your best and represented your sports and America well. Best of luck to you.
They all should follow his lead.Who designed the course? Don't they consult with the planners and designers of the courses used in the actual competitions held around the world and in the US?.Why did they ever agree to hold the Olympics in this God forsaken country? Will the tourists be protected from scammers,con artists and cyber hackers??
Lions, and Tigers, and Bears oh my. Don't go outside, ever.
Now if he'll stay away from the crowded venues he might not get killed. It's bound to happen in this crazy world. I'd never send my kid over there. Just not worth it.
once a real showcase for amateurs.....now nothing more than a hacked up political egomania and a huge pile of wasted money..better the money goes to help feed,cloth,healthcare,water,and education....for those who are fighting daily just to survive on this planet...not another toy for the wealthy!