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Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics: Shaun White will not compete in slopestyle

Shaun White reacts to his first place finish on the podium after the Men's Halfpipe Final U.S. Olympic Qualification #4 at the 2014 Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain Resort on January 17, 2014 in Mammoth, California.
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Shaun White will not be competing for two gold medals in Sochi. As reported by USA Today Sports on Feb. 5, the two-time defending gold medalist has withdrew his name from the slopestyle.

White made the announcement on NBC’s “TODAY” stating that he will set his attention on winning his third consecutive gold medal in halfpipe. The American snowboarder had originally planned to compete in the slopestyle. Withdrawing from the competition was solely based on focus and had nothing to do with health.

“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 of.”

Shaun White is seeking to become the first American to win an event in three consecutive Winter Olympics and he was the only America to have even attempted making both teams. As he succeeded despite a sprained ankle suffered in the halfpipe. But he admits the difficulty of the Sochi course influenced his decision.

“Definitely concerns about the course. It’s been interesting to see how it’s developed and changed over the past few days. I guess the big question is if it will continue to change.”

It would’ve been difficult for White to medal in the event because of the strong field competing. Canadian Mark McMorris remains the gold medal favorite in slopestyle.

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