Shaun White has worst X Games finish since 2000

Shaun White
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Shaun White finished 11th at the Winter X Games on Thursday night, his worst halfpipe result at the event since his debut at age 13 in 2000.

The two-time Olympic halfpipe champion was unable to notch a clean run in two attempts, both times losing all of his momentum after failing to fully rotate and land one of his tricks. White’s best score was a 29.66, placing 11th out of 12 riders.

Australian Olympian Scotty James won with a 90-point run featuring back-to-back double cork 1080s, according to ESPN. Full results are here.

White was considered a medal favorite in his X Games return after missing last year’s event due to a dispute with organizers.

He won both of his contests in the 2015-16 season, including notching his biggest air out of the halfpipe of his career at the U.S. Open last March.

White did, though, have offseason ankle surgery and failed to make the final at his only other contest this season, using a Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colo., as a “test run” in December.

White, 30, wasn’t quite at the form Thursday required to win his ninth X Games halfpipe title and first since 2013. He nearly matched James in soaring 21 feet above the halfpipe. He tried a new trick in his first run, a switch frontside double cork 1440, according to ESPN, but was unable to pull it off.

VIDEO: White’s first run | White’s second run

White’s biggest rivals struggled, too.

The 2014 and 2015 X Games champion Danny Davis was fifth, Olympic silver medalist Ayumu Hirano was ninth and Olympic champion Iouri Podladtchikov was 10th.

White is expected to compete next week at his home pipe at Mammoth Mountain, Calif.

Also Thursday, 16-year-old U.S. Olympic hopeful Hailey Langlund won snowboard big air by becoming the first woman to land a double cork at the X Games, according to ESPN.

Olympic slopestyle champion Jamie Anderson was fourth. Big air makes its Olympic debut in PyeongChang.

MORE: Mark McMorris ups risk for 2 golds in PyeongChang

*Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., in February is an Olympic qualifier. It is for ski and snowboard slopestyle and snowboard slopestyle, but not snowboard halfpipe.

Joel Embiid gains U.S. citizenship, mum on Olympic nationality

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Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid said he is now a U.S. citizen and it’s way too early to think about what nation he would represent at the Olympics.

“I just want to be healthy and win a championship and go from there,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Embiid, 28, was born in Cameroon and has never competed in a major international tournament. In July, he gained French nationality, a step toward being able to represent that nation at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the spring, French media reported that Embiid started the process to become eligible to represent France in international basketball, quoting national team general manager Boris Diaw.

Embiid was second in NBA MVP voting this season behind Serbian Nikola Jokic. He was the All-NBA second team center.

What nation Embiid represents could have a major impact on the Paris Games.

In Tokyo, a French team led by another center, Rudy Gobert, handed the U.S. its first Olympic defeat since 2004. That was in group play. The Americans then beat the French in the gold-medal game 87-82.

That France team had five NBA players to the U.S.’ 12: Nicolas BatumEvan FournierTimothe Luwawu-CabarrotFrank Ntilikina and Gobert.

Anthony Davis, who skipped the Tokyo Olympics, is the lone U.S. center to make an All-NBA team in the last five seasons. In that time, Embiid made four All-NBA second teams and Gobert made three All-NBA third teams.

No Olympic team other than the U.S. has ever had two reigning All-NBA players on its roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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LA 2028, Delta unveil first-of-its-kind emblems for Olympics, Paralympics

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Emblems for the 2028 Los Angeles Games that include logos of Delta Air Lines is the first integration of its kind in Olympic and Paralympic history.

Organizers released the latest set of emblems for the LA 2028 Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday, each with a Delta symbol occupying the “A” spot in LA 28.

Two years ago, the LA 2028 logo concept was unveiled with an ever-changing “A” that allowed for infinite possibilities. Many athletes already created their own logos, as has NBC.

“You can make your own,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said in 2020. “There’s not one way to represent Los Angeles, and there is strength in our diverse cultures. We have to represent the creativity and imagination of Los Angeles, the diversity of our community and the big dreams the Olympic and Paralympic Games provide.”

Also in 2020, Delta was announced as LA 2028’s inaugural founding partner. Becoming the first partner to have an integrated LA 2028 emblem was “extremely important for us,” said Emmakate Young, Delta’s managing director, brand marketing and sponsorships.

“It is a symbol of our partnership with LA, our commitment to the people there, as well as those who come through LA, and a commitment to the Olympics,” she said.

The ever-changing emblem succeeds an angelic bid logo unveiled in February 2016 when the city was going for the 2024 Games, along with the slogan, “Follow the Sun.” In July 2017, the IOC made a historic double awarding of the Olympics and Paralympics — to Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028.

The U.S. will host its first Olympics and Paralympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996), ending its longest drought between hosting the Games since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.

Delta began an eight-year Olympic partnership in 2021, becoming the official airline of Team USA and the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Athletes flew to this year’s Winter Games in Beijing on chartered Delta flights and will do so for every Games through at least 2028.

Previously, Delta sponsored the last two Olympics held in the U.S. — the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

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