Shaun White has pulled out of Olympic snowboarding slopestyle competition, he told the Today Show Wednesday morning.
He will still compete in this halfpipe — his best event.
“With the practice runs I have taken, even after course modifications and watching fellow athletes get hurt, the potential risk of injury is a bit too much for me to gamble my other Olympics goals on,” he said.
Since Monday, when the riders got their first look at the course, there have been widespread complaints that it’s too dangerous.
Norway’s Torstein Hormgo, one of the favourites in the event, broke his collarbone in practice and won’t be able to compete. Finland’s Marika Enne suffered a concussion on Tuesday.
Riders say the jumps are too big, even after alterations were made in response to Hormgo’s injury.
“It looks pretty sketchy,” Finland’s Roope Tonteri told the New York Times. “I think they wanted to make big kickers, and it’s not really good for riders and it’s not really safe anymore. I just don’t want to get injured. It’s not a really fun course to ride.”
Canada’s Sebastien Toutant said one of the jumps was so big it was “like jumping out of a building.”
Others called it “obnoxiously tall.”
This is the first time slopestyle has been in the Olympics. The sport involves riding down a slope and doing tricks off a series of ramps.
White jammed his wrist in practice, and called the course “intimidating” before pulling out.
The ramps are just too big.
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