Shaun White out of X Games
Folks itching to see what Shaun White might add to his slopestyle run after qualifying for the U.S. Olympic slope team in dramatic fashion Thursday will have to wait until Sochi.
White says he does not plan to ride in Saturday's final Olympic qualifier and will not attend X Games Aspen next week.
"So far, the plan is still not to attend X," White said Friday. "Especially considering how much work this has been to qualify for the Olympics. It's that time of, what do I really want to work on before the Olympics and you've only got one week to really crank it out."
Though his withdrawal is not yet official, and his publicist said she would not have an update until Tuesday, if White does not show up next week it will be the first X Games Aspen event that the eight-time SuperPipe and five-time Slopestyle gold medalist ever has missed.
The first U.S. men's snowboarder to lock up an Olympic spot in slopestyle on Thursday, the two-time defending Olympic halfpipe gold medalist capped a two-day qualification marathon at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., with a win in the halfpipe on Friday. Although the win does not guarantee him a spot on the halfpipe team, he's in good shape with the final qualifier taking place Sunday.
"I want to lock it up Sunday and try to win another," White said. "I'm just happy I could push through that crash yesterday."
White took a hard slam in his first run of the first of two slopestyle qualifiers Thursday, and opted to skip the first halfpipe comp on Friday.
"I went back and forth in my mind 20 times of what to do, and I'm glad I made the decision to skip it," White said. "I woke up this morning and couldn't move very well. My shoulder really hurts. The range of motion is really limited. But I lucked out that I have a physio here and took the morning off."
White said his ankle, which he struggled with earlier in the season, is feeling great.
"That's old news," he said. "It's the shoulder now."
Also in the past couple months, White has alluded to new tricks he has yet to debut in both his slopestyle and halfpipe runs. He showed his hand on a frontside double cork 1440 in an online video released by GoPro in December, but has yet to throw it in a contest run. He added a Cab double 1440 (a.k.a. the switch frontside double 14) to the middle of his winning halfpipe run at Mammoth, the same trick Iouri Podladtchikov debuted at X Games Tignes in March and dubbed the "YOLO flip."
"That's the first time I've done [the cab double 1440] in a contest, let alone doing a double cork into it," White said. "I've been waiting to break it out."