Two-time Winter Olympic gold medalist Shaun White withdrew from the Sochi Games’ slope style snowboarding event this week.
His surprise decision to pull out of the event immediately provoked controversial comments from White’s slope style competitors.
Canadian favorites Maxence Parrot and Sebastian Toutant both claimed that White chose not to compete because he simply wasn’t good enough to win the competition.
Though the slope style is certainly not his signature event, White says he withdrew because of the poor conditions of the Sochi slopes.
Earlier this week, Norwegian Olympian Torstein Horgmo fell badly during a practice run and broke his collarbone.
White’s safety concerns are valid as a result of what happened to the Norwegian. The Flying Tomato is cautious and you can’t blame him for being conservative.
White doesn’t want to go splat on the slopes before competing in his best event, the half pipe, which he won in the two previous Olympic Games in Vancouver in 2010 and in Torino in 2006.
In addition, already a two-time Winter Olympic gold medalist in snowboarding, this Flying Tomato also ranks as one of the world’s premier skateboarders. And, White wants to stay healthy because he’s focused on competing in skateboarding which could become an officially sanctioned Summer Olympic event.
Many countries are lobbying the International Olympic Committee to include the sport in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games to be hosted in Brazil where White would undoubtedly be a favorite.
Probably the most famous snowboarder ever, White has dominated the Winter X Games competition for more than a decade. The Flying Tomato has won an amazing 12 Winter X games gold medals in the superpipe and slope style as well as six Winter Dew Games championships in the same events.
Better known for his accomplishments on the snow, White’s prowess on Vert skateboarding ramps is equally as impressive. The Flying Tomato’s excellence on the skateboard propelled him to gold medals in the Vert competition in the 2007 and 2011 Summer X Games. White’s Vert wins made him the only athlete to ever win championships in both the Summer and Winter X Games.
With uncertain conditions on the Sochi slopes, White made the right call regarding his withdrawal in the slope style.
However, expect this exciting Flying Tomato to continue his assault on the snow in Sochi in the half pipe.
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