ROSA KHUTOR, Russia - Olympic champion Shaun White (Carlsbad, CA) announced late Wednesday Sochi time that he was withdrawing from slopestyle to keep his focus on winning an unprecedented third straight gold for Team USA in halfpipe. Slopestyle snowboarding will make its Olympic debut with qualification runs Thursday and the men's finals opening the Games on Saturday. White will now concentrate on winning a third straight gold medal in the halfpipe snowboarding competition set for Tuesday at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
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.
Jeremy Forster, Snowboarding and Freeskiing Director, USSA
Shaun is the consumate professional and has made a sound athletic decision. We anticipate an outstanding slopestyle debut on Saturday but also respect the importance to Shaun to keep his focus on winning a third halfpipe gold.
Patrick Sandusky, Chief Communications Officer, USOC
Shaun is a professional and certainly knows what’s best for his performance. We support the athletic decisions of our athletes and look forward to watching the entire U.S. team perform.