Snowboarder Shaun White’s quest for two Olympic gold medals in Sochi has ended abruptly.
White bowed out of the inaugural men’s snowboard slopestyle competition just one day after calling the Olympic course “intimidating.” White told The Associated Press on Tuesday that practicing on the course had been a challenge.
A number of athletes have suffered injuries on the course already, and White fell on the course Tuesday and jammed his left wrist. Norway’s Torstein Horgmo broke his collarbone after falling off a rail Monday and is out for the games, and Marika Enne of Finland suffered a concussion and was taken off the course on a stretcher Tuesday following another fall.
The course’s difficulty proved to be too much for the 14-time X-Games competitor.
“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,” White said on the TODAY show. “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 being a part of.”
Slopestyle consists of riders combining a series of tricks on a downhill course filled with rails, quarterpipes and jumps. White has won five X-Games titles in slopestyle.