With the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia just three weeks away, the American team is still being set for the slopestyle snowboarding competition in qualifying at Mammoth Mountain, Calif. One of the leading hopefuls is American snowboarding star Shaun White.
However White's run on Thursday in the third day of qualifying didn't end well when White crashed in his second run of the day.
White hit the second of the big-air jumps on the course but he was unable to execute the full maneuver and didn't land it, causing him to fall forward and land face first before skidding to a stop. He remained there, almost motionless, for a few moments until help arrived and of course he aborted the remainder of the run. As the announcer put it, that was a "brutal scoprion" and a "shoulder separator" crash for White. Sounds (and looks) awfully painful.
The good news for White is this hardly brings an end to his hopes of making the team. There are three automatic spots on the team that will come from the five days of qualifying and Thursday was only Day 3. So far none of the spots has been secured so they are all still available.
White entered Day 3 in first place overall but the rough runs (he crashed in the first run as well but didn't have to abort) dropped him to fourth place with two events to go. He could still make the team as a discretionary selection should fail to qualify.
White is seen as a heavy favorite to win gold at Sochi in slopestyle snowboarding, a new event at the Winter Olympics. White is also still in qualifying for the halfpipe competition in which he has won the last two gold medals -- back in 2006 in Torino, and in 2010 in Vancouver as well.