Shaun White withdraws from slopestyle in Sochi

9:24 AM, Feb 5, 2014   |    comments
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Shaun White during a training session on the hill at the second jump at Extreme Park in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia, on Tuesday. (Photo: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports)

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia -- Shaun White's quest for two golds in one Olympics ended Wednesday.

The American snowboarder announced in a statement on Today that he would not compete in slopestyle as he had previously planned. The two-time defending gold medalist in the halfpipe, White is seeking to become the first American man ever to win an event in three consecutive Winter Olympics.

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"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 said in a statement.

"With the practice runs I have taken, even after course modifications and watching fellow athletes get hurt, the potential risk of injury is a bit too much for me to gamble my other Olympics goals on."

He was not favored to win gold in slopestyle and faced a challenge to even medal. Canadian Mark McMorris remains the gold medal favorite despite breaking his rib at the X Games last month. Several other Canadians and Norwegians are expected to challenge for a spot on the podium.

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