Shaun White likely to miss Winter X Games
ASPEN — No Shaun.
Make room for a new king of the superpipe at Aspen Winter X.
Shaun White announced over the weekend that he will not compete in the Winter X Games in Aspen this week to concentrate on preparing for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“So far, the plan is still not to attend [Aspen Winter] X,” White said in a report on the X Games website, operated by ESPN. “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.”
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The website said the withdrawal is not yet official. Any updates would come Tuesday, according to ESPN.
White is the six-time defending gold medalist in the Winter X superpipe at Buttermilk. And he’s won eight superpipe golds total. Plus five slopestyle golds in Aspen.
But his X Games medal streak is likely to end in this Olympic year.
If he doesn’t compete in Aspen this week, this will mark the first Winter X Games without White since 1999.
The “Flying Tomato” made his Winter X Games debut in Aspen in 2000 at age 13 — the youngest Winter X competitor ever. He became the youngest medalist ever at Aspen Winter X at the age of 15.
White clinched his Olympic spot in slopestyle Thursday with a dramatic comeback victory in the second of two events. On the first, he had a vicious face-plant and was treated on course by medical personnel. But White rallied later in the afternoon to win his Olympic berth.
He’s in a controlling position to qualify again on the halfpipe team in the final Olympic qualifier at Mammoth Mountain.
“I want to lock it up [today] and try to win another,” White said on the X Games website. “I’m just happy I could push through that crash.”
Recently, White made significant additions to his array of tricks.
He showcased a frontside double cork 1440 in an online video released by GoPro in December.
But it hasn’t been completed in competition yet.
White also added a trick that Iouri Padladtchikov first used at X Games Tignes (France) — a Cab double 1440 (aka the switch frontside double 14).
White told ESPN: “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.”
The Winter X Games will start Wednesday evening at Buttermilk with elimination rounds of the men’s ski superpipe competition, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Aspen time.
The full selection of Winter X events is set for Thursday, including the snowmobile freestyle finals as well as elimination rounds of snowboard slopestyle and snowboard superpipe.
Friday will feature the men’s and women’s Boarder X finals as well as the women’s and men’s ski superpipe finals. Events will continue Saturday and Sunday.
The latest schedule updates are available online at xgames.espn.go.com.
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