Two-time Olympic halfpipe champion Shaun White missed the slopestyle competition after a crash in training at the FIS World Cup stop in Cardrona, New Zealand.
White, 26, suffered an ankle injury, according to multiple reports out of New Zealand. It is unknown if White will be able to compete in the halfpipe. Qualifying starts Thursday.
White aims to win double gold at the Sochi Olympics, an eye on his third straight title in the halfpipe and a first in the new Olympic event of slopestyle. He won four straight Winter X Games titles in slopestyle from 2003-06 but took fifth at this year’s X Games.
If White is on his game in slopestyle in Sochi, he’ll have a showdown with Canadian Mark McMorris, 19, the two-time reigning X Games champion.
White’s band, Bad Things, will release its debut album Oct. 8, four months before the Olympics. White said he will tour with the band after the album comes out.
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Co-Olympic super-G bronze medalist Jan Hudec was granted a request by Alpine Canada to represent the Czech Republic next season after being left off Canada’s national team.
Hudec, 34, wasn’t eligible for Canada’s national team after racing once in 2015-16 due to the latest of his many knee surgeries, according to Alpine Canada.
“It is important to know that we continued to work with Jan after the team selection was announced, and let him know that we were more then willing to find accommodation that would enable him to return to the team,” Alpine Canada said in a press release. “However, at this stage of Jan’s career, he is making a decision that can best meet his desire to fulfill and lead a different way of life, that reaches beyond ski racing.”
The International Ski Federation must still grant Hudec’s request. Hudec was born in the Czech Republic.
At the Sochi Olympics, Hudec shared bronze with Bode Miller in the super-G. He is also the 2007 World Championships downhill silver medalist and a two-time winner of World Cup races.
The 2016-17 Alpine skiing World Cup season is expected to begin in Soelden, Austria, in late October.
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Estonian sisters Leila, Liina and Lily Luik are set to become what is believed to be the first set of triplets to compete in an Olympics, according to Games historians.
The Luiks, identical triplets born Oct. 14, 1985, remain the only Estonian women to meet the Olympic qualifying time for the marathon. And since a nation can send three qualified athletes to the Olympic marathon, all three are in line to go to Rio.
The Estonia athletics federation’s qualifying cutoff is Wednesday. It doesn’t believe any other Estonians will register an Olympic qualifying time by then.
With most marathons taking place on weekends, it appears the Luiks are safe, even though none has run faster than 2:37, and the Olympic medal winners will likely be running in the low-to-mid 2:20s.
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