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Shaun White struggles in first halfpipe contest of season

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It’s not often that Shaun White fails to qualify for a halfpipe final, but that’s just what happened in his first contest of the season at the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colo., on Wednesday.

The two-time Olympic champion finished 18th overall in qualifying with scores of 65.50 and 7.50 in his two runs. White lacked his typical speed and amplitude but didn’t crash, an event spokesman said.

White has finished fourth or better in just about all of his contests since 2002, when he just missed making the Salt Lake City Olympic team at age 15.

White’s worst major result in the last 14 years was a 10th at the 2004 Winter X Games, where he reportedly tore the meniscus in his right knee.

White finished fourth at both the Sochi Olympics and the 2015 X Games but came back strong last season, winning both of his contests — the Dew Tour Mountain Championships and U.S. Open.

Also at Copper Mountain, three-time Olympic halfpipe medalist Kelly Clark trained but opted not to compete as she works her way back from March hip surgery.

The finals are led by Sochi Olympic champion Iouri Podladtchikov and two-time X Games champion Chloe Kim.

NBCSports.com/live will stream the finals on Friday at 1 p.m. ET.

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Joseph Schooling eyes Michael Phelps’ world record at world champs

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Shortly after Joseph Schooling upset Michael Phelps in the Rio Olympic 100m butterfly, the Singapore swimmer made his next goal quite clear.

Take Phelps’ 100m butterfly world record.

Schooling repeated that claim after returning to the University of Texas for his junior season in November and again following March’s NCAA Championships, where he was beaten by Caeleb Dressel in the 100-yard butterfly.

The goal is apparently an imminent one.

Schooling said he believes he can break Phelps’ record at the world championships in Budapest in July, according to Channel News Asia. It would require lowering his personal best by more than a half-second.

“I’m looking forward to that race, and deep down I think if I do what I know I can do, if I execute everything well perfectly, I’d have a really good shot,” Schooling said Thursday, according to the report.

Schooling, 21, hasn’t raced a 100m butterfly since the Olympics, where he clocked 50.39 seconds. That broke Phelps’ Olympic record of 50.58 set at the 2008 Olympics. It’s the fifth-fastest time ever.

All of the top four times, including Phelps’ world record of 49.82, were set in 2009 at the peak of the high-tech swimsuit era.

“My dad told me 50.39 is a world record in a textile suit, but I want the world record on paper,” Schooling reportedly said less than a week after his Olympic title in August. “My next goal is breaking 49.8.”

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MORE: Phelps joins gold medalists in swim race, but no comeback

Aly Raisman calls out airport worker for ‘muscles’ comment

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Three-time Olympic champion Aly Raisman called out a male airport security worker who she says questioned whether she had enough muscles to be a gymnast.

Raisman posted on Twitter on Wednesday that after a female Transportation Security Administration worker said she recognized Raisman by her biceps, a male employee said, “I don’t see any muscles.” Raisman called the encounter “rude & uncomfortable.”

Raisman, who turned 23 Thursday, says she works “very hard to be healthy & fit.” She says that if a man can’t compliment a girl’s muscles, he’s sexist.

Raisman didn’t say where or when the airport exchange took place.

Raisman previously authored a powerful social media post about body image, shouting out “to all the boys from 5th-9th grade who made fun of me for being ‘too strong’” in November.

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