Shaun White tested positive for the coronavirus after his last snowboarding contest before Christmas, experienced symptoms over the holiday and most recently tested negative to compete at the last U.S. Olympic snowboarding qualifier this weekend, NBCSports.com confirmed.
“I’m bouncing back from it, and it’s not been a fun experience,” White said, according to Olympics.com, which first reported the news. “I had asthma as a kid and I have a heart condition. So you know, anything to do with lungs and respiratory is not so great, and it’s just been like this lingering cold.”
White was born with a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot and had two major surgeries before his first birthday.
He’s slated to compete at the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, California, the last significant halfpipe contest before the Olympic team is named. Qualifying is Friday. The final is Saturday, live on Peacock.
White has been among the top three U.S. male halfpipe riders over the last year, since he returned from the longest snowboarding competition break of his career (three years). U.S. Ski and Snowboard is expected to choose four men for the Olympic team, with at least one spot being a coaches’ selection.
White, with his three Olympic gold medals, is in great shape to make the team either objectively (likely if he makes the podium on Saturday) or through the discretionary route.
White said last month that he believes this will be his last Olympic run. He then hinted at his last contest that it will be his last season as a competitive snowboarder, saying it was his last appearance at that particular event.
The other two top U.S. riders — Taylor Gold and Chase Josey — are not entered at Mammoth. Neither are the top U.S. female halfpipe riders, Chloe Kim and Maddie Mastro, who previously clinched Olympic spots.
The Olympic men’s halfpipe favorites are Japanese Ayumu Hirano, Ruka Hirano and Yuto Totsuka and Australian Scotty James.
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U.S. Ski and Snowboard Grand Prix Broadcast Schedule
|Friday||10 p.m.||Ski Halfpipe||Peacock | STREAM LINK|
|Saturday||12 p.m.*||Ski Halfpipe||CNBC|
|12:30 p.m.||Snowboard Slopestyle||Peacock | STREAM LINK|
|4 p.m.||Ski Slopestyle||Peacock | STREAM LINK|
|9:30 p.m.||Snowboard Halfpipe||Peacock | STREAM LINK|
|Sunday||9:30 a.m.*||Snowboard Slopestyle||CNBC|
|11 a.m.*||Ski Slopestyle||CNBC|
|1 p.m.*||Snowboard Halfpipe||CNBC|