Just a day after calling Sochi's slopestyle course "intimidating," American snowboarder Shaun White has bowed out of the inaugural competition to focus solely on the halfpipe.
White released a statement exclusively to NBC's Today Show.
"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 being a part of."
After falling an jamming his right wrist in a practice run Tuesday, White seemed frustrated with the difficulty of the course -- a sentiment shared by other competitors.
"It's frustrating to see it," White told the AP. "It puts a damper on the whole mood, and it's kind of like you're getting ready to do a big trick and you see something like [the injuries]. Intimidating. Unfortunate. I'm hoping the builders can make some changes and the course has a little more of a friendly vibe. But I can't change the course. Doing the best I can."
One of White's competitors, reigning X-Games slopestyle champion Maxence Parrot, has already weighed in on the decision.
Shaun knows he won't be able to win the slopes, thats why he pulled out. He's scared!— Maxence Parrot (@MaxParrot) February 5, 2014
Fair enough. Instead, White has decided to focus all of his energy on the halfpipe, in an attempt to become the first American Olympian to win three consecutive gold medals in the same event.