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Shaun White falls, injures wrist; Is Olympic slopestyle course too difficult?

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The latest skier to feel the pain of the course at the Sochi Winter Olympics was snowboarding superstar Shaun White.

White fell and jammed his left wrist – adding another nagging injury to his long list of bumps and bruises while also entering his name on the growing list of athletes falling victim to a treacherous Olympic slopestyle course.

"(Its) a little intimidating," White told the media after Tuesday's training accident. "It's been a challenge."
Chas Guldemond, a slopestyle snowboarder from Northstar California in Lake Tahoe is a little wary of the course.

"When we get to a course, nothing's perfect," Guldemond said. "It's roughed in. We test the course. We come in and tweak it. We have rider meetings. We give builders feedback and make tweaks to the course to make it safer and more usable for the riders."

No matter what fixes they make, there's no taking the danger completely out of slopestyle.

"The course is a little intense," said Sierra-at-Tahoe rider Jamie Anderson, the favorite for the women's gold medal. "Everyone's making the best of it. I'm having a questionable time getting used to it. But I'm just being slow, patient, taking them one jump at a time. At the end of the day, we're just snowboarding."

Through two days of practice runs in the Russian mountains above Sochi, the course at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park has already taken out one of the favorites, Torstein Horgmo of Norway, who broke a collarbone while riding through the rails Monday.

On Tuesday, shortly after White's minor injury, Marika Enne of Finland fell hard and hit her head at the end of her run. She was taken off the course on a stretcher with a concussion.

There isn’t much time to get accustomed to the course. Slopestyle qualifying begins Thursday – the day before the opening ceremony – with White trying to win the first of two gold medals at this year's Olympics.

White is more accomplished on the halfpipe, where he will attempt at a third straight gold medal on the halfpipe is set for next Tuesday.

As Tuesday's training session was winding down, many snowboarders and their coaches met at the base for a discussion of what changes need to be made before Thursday.