Shaun White Bails Out of Olympic Slopestyle Competition

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“After much deliberation with my team, I have made the decision to focus solely on trying to bring home the third straight gold medal in halfpipe for Team USA. The difficult decision to forego slopestyle is not one I take lightly as I know how much effort everyone has put into holding the slopestyle event for the first time in Olympic history, a history I had planned on being a part of. However, with the practice runs I have taken, even after course modifications and watching fellow athletes get hurt, the potential risk of injury is a bit too much for me to gamble my other Olympic goals on.” – Sean White’s official statement

Shaun White officially pulled out of the Slopestyle Olympic Snowboard competition yesterday at 2:30pm.  Shaun showed up at a pre Olympic new conference in Sochi along with the entire US Snowboard team.  Nearly all the questions during the conference were for the two time hallfpipe Olympic gold medalist.

Shaun was the only USA Olympian to be competing in both slopestyle and halfpipe.

There has been a lot of international debate recently about the size of the features on the slopestyle course and weather or not it’s safe.  White did not say why he bowed out of the slopestyle competition.  He simply sated that he wanted to focus on halfpipe.

no slopestyle
Shaun White

“There are definitely concerns about the course.  It’s been interesting to see how it’s developed and changed over the past few days, and the question is if it will continue to change. Every day, they hold a riders’ meeting, they get feedback and sometimes there’s changes and sometimes there’s not. So …” – Shaun White at the new conference yesterday

 On Tuesday, Shaun called the Sochi slopestyle course “intimidating.”

I remember White once telling me his favorite thing is to show up to a halfpipe or slopestyle competition when the weather is bad, or the pipe is cut poorly, or everyone is complaining about the course — because that’s when he shines. Everyone has to ride the same course and drop into the same pipe, and he knows he is the best rider on any day, no matter the conditions. He said he smiles knowing he is in a better place mentally than everyone else. In his mind, in those moments, he has already won. – Alyssa Roenigk/ESPN

Shaun White with gold
Shaun White with gold

Many people who follow Shaun and slopestyle and halfpipe closely claim that something a touch fishy is going on…

Considering the above statement do you think Shaun is scared of the slopestyle course?  Scared enough to bail out of competition 2 days before the Olympics start?  Scared enough to not make history at the first Olympics to ever have slopestyle?

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