The Brandon Davis Shaun White saga was addressed when White justified his withdrawal from the slopestyle competition. In a Feb. 8 report by ESPN that cites the Associated Press, White understood how he may have angered other competitors with his decision, but he felt what he did was right.
"I can understand if it's your first time to the Olympics, you wouldn't understand a decision like the one I made," White said. "But you set your goals according to what's important to you. Halfpipe is important to me and I didn't want to jeopardize that."
18-year-old Brandon Davis may have taken the place of Shaun White in the slopestyle if the U.S. Olympic Committee had enough time to alter the roster. There was speculation that White pulled a dirty trick and nixed the competition just prior to arriving in Sochi. He had some difficult runs in the slopestyle course, jammed his wrist, and called the course "intimidating."
White did not find it worth competing in the slopestyle in case he injured himself further. His decision was an unpopular one that allegedly cost other athletes on the American team a chance making their Olympic debuts.
This is what White's coach, Bud Keene said:
"I'd like all the haters to turn into lovers but that's not my job."
"I totally supported his call. It's never a good idea for any of these athletes to go out there when they're not feeling 100 percent about what they're doing. Because these are big features, this is icy snow and there is real danger in what he does. So, you've got to go with your gut."
White has no regrets.
"It's a tough decision to make, just like anything at the Olympics. It's always, like, everything's on the line," he said. "I wanted to be here and wanted to compete in both events. But it just wasn't in the cards."
Brandon Davis was unhappy with Shaun White for how the whole thing went down.
“It just kind of sucks,” Davis said. "I should be there, but Shaun decided he didn’t want to do it...It’s not a big deal for him. But for most people, the Olympics is a whole other level. It could have kicked started my career a bit, and gotten the ball rolling."
It really is a shame Brandon Davis lost out if he was to fill Shaun White's position in the slopestyle. There are good points on both sides of this dilemma. It is understandable why Davis would be so disappointed and why White would want to prevent risking further injury.
© Heather Tooley, 2014
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