Shaun White withdrew from the Olympic slopestyle event on Wednesday morning, saying the extreme nature of the course was a safety concern.
The Sochi slopestyle course has been called “sketchy,” “dangerous,” and “obnoxiously tall” by riders who’ve tested it out this week. A number of athletes have suffered injuries, including White, who jammed his wrist on Tuesday.
The main concern seems to be the size of the kickers (ramps) on the course. The final three jumps involve vertical drops of 101 feet, 92 feet and 85 feet, respectively, which is made worse by the height of the kickers. It’s like jumping off an seven-story building, and that’s not even counting the extra height you get from going off the jump.
These photos of the course give you an idea of why White was so spooked.
The final kicker:
A worker gives you a good idea of how tall the kickers are:
Here’s the FIS diagram of the course, with vertical drop heights (via SequenceFreeSki.com):
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