Russia Made The First Ever Olympic Slopestyle Course Too Dangerous, And Now Shaun White Won’t Ride It

  • Eric Goldschein

shaun white slopestyle

This year was supposed to be the first time that slopestyle, a popular Winter X Games event, would be a part of the Winter Olympic Games. But at this rate, there may not be anyone healthy enough in body or unhealthy enough in mind to compete on Sochi’s slopestyle course.

Shaun White told the Today Show this morning that he’s pulling out of the event, one day after falling and jamming his wrist on a practice run:

“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,” White told TODAY in a statement. “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 a part of. “

“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,” White said.

White isn’t the only one to complain about the conditions at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park (even the name of which sounds like something designed by Genghis Khan), and officials altered the track after Torstein Horgmo of Norway broke his collarbone on Monday. The course has also been called “pretty sketchy” and “not really a fun course to ride.”

Some people think White is just pulling out of the event because he isn’t as good on slopestyle as the halfpipe, where he’ll be gunning for his third straight gold medal. But people are literally being broken by this run. It’s insane that one of the world’s premier winter sports athletes — a guy who made his name at the X Games — won’t go near this thing.

In Russia, course rides you.