Winter Sports

Shaun White "scared", pulls out of Olympic event

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Football News

Shaun White has confirmed that he will only compete in the halfpipe competition at the Sochi Games, pulling out of the slopestyle course.

The competition is set to make its inaugural appearance in this Winter Games, drawing some of the biggest names in snowboarding to it.

However, days after calling the course "intimidating", White has confirmed he has pulled out to concentrate on defending his Olympic halfpipe title.

Speaking on NBC's Today Show, White said: "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 a part being a part of."

White was left concerned over the complex course after falling and jamming his wrist in training on Tuesday and was backed up by his peers.

"It's frustrating to see it," White told the AP. "It puts a damper on the whole mood, and it's kind of like you're getting ready to do a big trick and you see something like [the injuries]. Intimidating. Unfortunate.

"I'm hoping the builders can make some changes and the course has a little more of a friendly vibe. But I can't change the course. Doing the best I can."

Reigning X-Games slopestyle champion Maxence Parrot has already taken the opportunity to criticise his rival.

Speaking on Twitter, he said: "Shaun knows he won't be able to win the slopes, thats why he pulled out. He's scared!"

If White succeeds in defending his halfpipe title, he will become the first American to win a third straight Olympic gold medal in the same event.

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