Shaun White has withdrawn from slopestyle competition in the Sochi Olympics in order to concentrate on defending his champion title in halfpipe. White has been the gold medalist in halfpipe for the past two Olympics.
According to the U. S. snowboard team (USSA), White said, “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 part of.”
Training for halfpipe begins Saturday, February 8. The Olympic comp will be Tuesday, Feb. 11.
USSA says no alternate athlete will be named to fill White’s slot, because qualifications for slopestyle begin Thursday, the day before the Olympic opening on Feb. 7. Slopestyle finals will be one of Sochi’s early events, taking place on Saturday.