Shaun White

Shaun White falls, takes third in Copper Mountain slopestyle

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Shaun White fell on a snowboarding run for the second straight week, but he moved closer to qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Team in slopestyle on Sunday.

White, the two-time reigning Olympic halfpipe champion, took third place behind Norwegian winner Staale Sandbech in Copper Mountain, Colo. Sandbech scored 97.00 points in his second of two runs.

White scored 90.75 in his first run (video here). He fell after performing an opening rail trick in his second run and glided down the rest of the course. He did not appear to injure himself.

“This is top-30 finish, top American finish, so I’m very happy,” White said, according to The Associated Press.

Last week, White suffered an ankle injury in halfpipe at the first of five Olympic selection events in Breckenridge, Colo. He skipped last week’s slopestyle final and this week’s halfpipe.

He was the top qualifier into last week’s slopestyle final before pulling out and the eighth qualifier this week. Olympic favorite Mark McMorris of Canada, last week’s winner, was not in the field this week.

White would make the U.S. Olympic Team in slopestyle if it was named today, thanks in part to underwhelming results from other American riders.

Up to three U.S. men and two women who have had a top-four result in Olympic selection events will be named to the Olympic team.

So far, White is the only U.S. men’s slopestyle snowboarder with a top-four result through two of five Olympic selection events.

If more than three men and two women have had a top-four result, then a tiebreaker ranking system comes into play.

The tiebreaker rankings are based on an athlete’s two best finishes in Olympic selection events, with standings only counting American finishers.

Also Sunday, Czech Sarka Pancochova won the women’s event with a second-run 92.25.

Ty Walker, 16, was the top American in fourth to jump into the Olympic selection tiebreaker rankings.

Jamie Anderson, who won in Breckenridge last week, was the second highest American on Sunday, in seventh, to maintain her lead in the tiebreaker rankings.

The next Olympic selection event is in Breckenridge in January.

“Now, I get two weeks of practice,” White said, according to the AP.

Here are the slopestyle Olympic selection tiebreaker rankings, counting only those with top-four results:

Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle
1. Shaun White — 1,320

Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle
1. Jamie Anderson — 1,800
2. Ty Walker — 1,500

Olympic champion snowboarder makes fourth Olympic team

Justin Schoenefeld gets U.S.’ first men’s aerials World Cup win in 4 years

Justin Schoenefeld
U.S. Ski & Snowboard
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Justin Schoenefeld ended a four-year U.S. men’s aerials drought with his first World Cup win Saturday in Belarus.

Schoenfeld, 21, hit a double full-full-full in the super final to beat a field that included world champion Maxim Burov of Russia. Burov was fourth, one spot behind another American, Chris Lillis. Full results are here.

“I’m pretty speechless right now,” Schoenefeld said, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “I’m just shocked. It just all came so quick, all of a sudden the two finals were over, and I was on top of the podium. I probably landed two of my training jumps yesterday, but I managed to land all of my comp jumps down to my feet.”

Schoenefeld’s best previous World Cup finish was fourth, in Belarus last season.

Lillis earned the U.S.’ last World Cup men’s aerials victory on Feb. 20, 2016, also in Belarus. The four-year gap between wins marked the longest for the U.S. men since aerials was added as an Olympic medal sport in 1994.

Schoenefeld also became the first American of either gender to win a World Cup aerials event in two years, since Kiley McKinnon on Jan. 6, 2018. That gap was the longest for the U.S. since 2005.

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MORE: Olympic aerials champion retires to coach

Kaillie Humphries wins bobsled world title in first season for U.S.

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Two-time Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries won a bobsled world title in her first season since switching allegiance from Canada to the U.S., ending recent German dominance.

Humphries, with brakewoman Lauren Gibbs, edged German junior world champ Kim Kalicki by .37 of a second combining times from four runs between Friday and Saturday in Altenberg, Germany.

“I love this track. It’s very challenging, one of the hardest in the world,” Humphries said, according to U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton. “It demands a lot of focus, a lot of respect every minute you’re on that track. So to be able to win here, I know the Germans and the spectators, everybody, have worked so hard and this week, no exceptions. I’m proud of all of the girls.”

Canadian Christine de Bruin took bronze for a second straight year. Full results are here.

Humphries, who married a former U.S. bobsledder, was released by Canada in September after filing verbal abuse and harassment claims against a coach, saying she no longer felt safe with the program. As a Canadian, Humphries won 2010 and 2014 Olympic titles, plus 2012 and 2013 World titles.

Humphries joined German Sandra Kiriasis as the only female drivers to win three world titles. She is already the only female driver with multiple Olympic titles.

German Mariama Jamanka, the reigning Olympic champion and defending world champion, finished fourth in Altenberg.

Triple U.S. Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor didn’t compete as she sits out the season due to pregnancy. Meyers Taylor and Gibbs teamed for silver in PyeongChang.

The world championships continue Sunday with the conclusion of the two-man competition. German Francesco Friedrich, eyeing his sixth straight world title, leads after the first two of four runs.

A full TV and live stream schedule is here.

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VIDEO: Steven Holcomb’s mother’s speech after accepting Olympic medals