The world's most accomplished snowboarder announced Wednesday he will not participate in the slopestyle competition in Sochi.
Shaun White, a two-time Olympic gold medal winner in the halfpipe, says he's not willing to risk injury in what many are calling a dangerous slopestyle track. (Via WHSV)
On his Facebook page White wrote: "I have made the decision to focus solely on trying to bring home the third straight gold medal in halfpipe for Team USA. I know my fans will have my back on this difficult decision."
White injured his wrist while training earlier in the week and even called the course "a little intimidating." Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris said the takeoff ramps were "obnoxiously tall." And another said it was "like jumping out of a building." (Via CBS)
Still, White got some criticism from other riders for his late announcement. (Via CTV)
But it isn't all that surprising after White pulled out entirely from the Winter X Games in Aspen last month. He's won 13 gold medals in the games before.
White's clearly determined to win yet another gold medal in the halfpipe. He's been described as obsessive and is known to go off the grid to keep his tricks a secret — training in halfpipes built specifically for him. (Via Facebook / Shaun White)
White prepared for the 2010 games in a private halfpipe built by RedBull on remote grounds near Silverton Colorado. (Via RedBull)
"Really explore the boundaries of what I can do and the tricks that I've contemplated over the years." (Via YouTube / Red Bull)
This year he's been training in Australia on a pipe sculpted by GoPro. White did release a video of a new trick he's been working on, the double cork 1440, but he later took it down. (Via Fast Company)
The slopestyle competition begins Thursday, a day before the opening ceremonies. White will try to defend his gold medal in the halfpipe Tuesday, Feb. 11.