Two of the world’s best slopestyle riders are slamming Shaun White for withdrawing from the event on the eve of the Olympics.
There have been widespread complaints about the dangerousness of the course, and White said in a statement that he pulled out because he didn’t want to risk injury.
But two Canadian slopestyle riders, Max Parrot and Sebastien Toutant, say he only quit because he knows he can’t win.
“Shaun knows he won’t be able to win the slopes, thats why he pulled out. He’s scared!” Parrot said on Twitter.
“Mr. White… It’s easy to find excuses to pull out of a contest when you think you can’t win…” said Toutant.
Slopestyle isn’t White’s best event.
While he was a gold medal contender, the oddsmakers have Parrot and Mark McMorris as the favourites to win gold. White hasn’t won a medal in slopestyle at the X Games since 2009.
In a New York Times profile in January, White acknowledged that slopestyle is harder for him than halfpipe. The NYT’s Elizabeth Weil wrote:
“Still, White says, some have asked why he doesn’t just drop slopestyle, which has been dogging him to no end, and focus on the halfpipe and his business life, which he clearly loves. But White sees danger in not pushing himself hard. ‘I set out to do both events, and I don’t want to change my focus. It’s like you’re on a diet, and it’s no carbs, and then you eat a carb. It’s slippery slope, just half a sandwich. You lower your expectation, and there you go.'”
White will now focus on defending his gold in the halfpipe. He’s the heavy favourite in that event.
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