Shaun White crashes, misses halfpipe season opener

Shaun White
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Double Olympic champion Shaun White crashed in training and withdrew from this weekend’s New Zealand Winter Games, which was to be his first halfpipe contest of the Olympic season.

“Nothing is broken, but the doctors advised me to take a few weeks off,” White said in a statement. “I’m heading home to rest and prepare for more snowboarding next month.”

He added more on social media.

“Not exactly the birthday I was hoping for,” White, who turned 31 on Sunday, posted. “I under rotated a double flip that sent me to the hospital. The biggest scare was seeing blood in my urine, but after the tests all came back looking good I was released to go home. Life’s going to knock you down…. get up, learn from your mistakes, and you’ll be better for it! see you back on the mountain soon.”

White can afford minor injuries this early in the season. The Olympic selection events are in December and January.

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.

Though September may seem early to see White (or any other major Winter Olympian) compete, he was also entered in the New Zealand Winter Games in the Sochi Olympic season. But he withdrew then, too, with an ankle injury from a training crash.

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