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Shaun White overcomes spill, qualifies for slopestyle boarding

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Shaun White. (USATSI)
Shaun White recovered from a tough spill to get in a run that qualified him in slopestyle. (USATSI)

Gearing up for the Olympics? They're coming up quick, you know. Only three weeks to the day before the Opening Ceremony.

And the most recognizable American name in these Winter Games has qualified for yet another event. Shaun White -- who's won the past two gold medals in snowboard halfpipe -- will also be competing in slopestyle snowboarding at Sochi.

White had 95.20 points during his trial run at Mammoth Mountain (in California) on Thursday. That was his score from his first run. He had a chance to take a second run, but opted to not to, and it wound up being good enough to qualify for the event. The decision not to take a second go-round wasn't based off confidence; rather, White took a nasty spill earlier in the day that really shook him up.

"I haven't taken a hit like that in a long time," he told the Associated Press. "You crash, and then the next morning is when you really feel it. I have a date with a tub full of ice right now. I'm so thankful to make that run and to be on top of the podium and heading to Sochi. I'm beside myself. It went from one side of the coin all the way to the other from this morning with that crash to, now, winning."

His 95.20 bested the other 12 hopefuls who competed Thursday.

Next up for White are Friday's and Sunday's snowboard halfpipe trials. He's expected to earn entry in that event as well, what with being the defending world champion in the event.

Slopestyle snowboarding is not White's forte, and although he won Thursday, at the Games he'll be challenging world champion Mark McMorris, who hails from Canada.

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