Shaun White

Shaun White skips Copper Mountain halfpipe

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Shaun White is not entered in the halfpipe but still plans on competing in slopestyle at the second Olympic selection event in Copper Mountain, Colo., as he returns from an ankle injury.

The two-time reigning Olympic champion was not on the halfpipe start lists released Tuesday for Wednesday’s qualification heats. The public relations director for Shaun White Enterprises confirmed White’s absence from halfpipe Tuesday night.

White, 27, was questionable for Copper Mountain after suffering an ankle injury in a crash in the Dew Tour halfpipe final in Breckenridge on Saturday. He pulled out of the slopestyle final Sunday.

U.S. Snowboarding and the public relations director for Shaun White Enterprises previously said White planned on competing in both halfpipe and slopestyle in Copper Mountain this week.

White’s absence in the halfpipe will not have much impact on his Olympic qualification given he already has a second-place finish from Breckenridge, there are three more selection events after this week and he could be placed on the U.S. Olympic Team as a discretionary selection.

The Olympic selection standings are based on an athlete’s two best results over the five-event series.

White’s entry in his second event, slopestyle, is more important. Those entry lists should come out late Wednesday for Thursday qualifying.

The Copper Mountain slopestyle is key for White because he doesn’t have the necessary International Ski Federation (FIS) points in slopestyle to qualify for the Sochi Olympics yet.

Copper Mountain is the single Olympic selection event of the five-event series that doubles as an FIS World Cup event, meaning White can pick up the necessary FIS points this week if he competes.

If White doesn’t compete in Copper Mountain slopestyle, he would have to travel to Stoneham, Quebec, in January for an FIS World Cup that takes place at the same time as the final Olympic selection event in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

NBCSN will have coverage of action from Copper Mountain on Saturday from 2-3 p.m. ET. NBC will have coverage on Sunday from 2-4 ET.

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Shaun White’s crash lands him in hospital

Shaun White
Shaun White's Instagram
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Double Olympic snowboard champion Shaun White suffered a serious crash in training in New Zealand for the second time in as many months.

White was in the hospital after a “straight up old fashioned face plant” while preparing for the Olympic season, he said in an Instagram post Saturday.

“I’ve always lived my life by pushing the limits,” was posted on White’s Instagram. “Winning is great, but it’s the tough times that truly define you. I took a slam while training the other day, but don’t worry I’ll be back soon and better than ever!!”

White, 31, also crashed in early September, leading him to withdraw from his season-opening halfpipe contest in New Zealand. Doctors told him then to take a few weeks off.

White can afford to miss most of the fall. The snowboarding season does not ramp up until December. The first of a series of Olympic selection events is the second week of December in Breckenridge, Colo.

White is arguably the favorite for gold in PyeongChang in February despite finishing a disappointing fourth in Sochi, where he was bidding to three-peat as Olympic halfpipe champion.

White gradually improved last season after taking time off, changing coaches. dropping slopestyle (and his band work) and undergoing fall left ankle surgery.

He was 11th at January’s Winter X Games — his worst finish there since 2000 — but then finished first, second and first in his last three events.

He peaked at the finale, the U.S. Open in Vail, Colo. White landed a cab double cork 1440 and a double McTwist 1260 in one run for the first time, according to The Associated Press.

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Gymnastics doctor’s lawyers want trial moved, cite media coverage

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Attorneys for a former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics doctor accused of molesting dozens of athletes are pushing to have his trial moved out of the Lansing area.

The Lansing State Journal reports that attorneys representing Larry Nassar filed a change-of-venue request because of what they called “inflammatory and sustained media coverage” that they say has made it difficult for Nassar to get a fair trial in the area.

The media attention grew more intense this week when 21-year-old 2012 Olympic gold medal gymnast McKayla Maroney wrote on Twitter that Nassar started assaulting her when she was 13.

Nassar has pleaded not guilty to nearly two dozen charges in Michigan. He has pleaded guilty to three child pornography charges in an unrelated case but has not been sentenced.

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