Shaun White pulls out of event, concerned about course safety
Shaun White of the USA gets some air on the Slopestyle course ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on February 4, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: Image by Getty Images
Snowboarder Shaun White has withdrawn from the slopestyle event at the Sochi games.
White made the announcement this morning on the "Today" show. He said in a statement that he has decided to "...focus solely on trying to bring home the third straight gold medal in the halfpipe for Team USA."
White made the announcement after he jammed his left wrist during a fall on a practice run on Tuesday. That obviously played a factor in his decision.
White is just one athlete who has expressed concerns about the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in Sochi. Torstein Horgmo of Norway fell off a rail on Monday and broke his collarbone. He was considered a serious medal contender in the Winter Games. And Canada's Sebastian Toutant says that the course feels like "jumping out of a building."
White says that his wrist injury has been blown out of proportion though and he is "feeling healthy." According to USA Today, he was not favored to win gold in slopestyle and faced a challenge to even medal.
This is just the latest in the news about problems at Sochi. Journalists have been reporting on problems at hotels including rooms not ready, no hot water and strangely-colored water. There is even a Twitter hashtag for it: #SochiProblems
Sochi is a small, post-Soviet town in Russia and the preparations for the games have taken on a "downright panic-stricken tone." Images have been posted online of the half-finished Olympic Village and trash-filled streets.
In addition, atheletes and others are still concerned about security during the games despite stepped up security efforts.