torstein horgmo

Shaun White jams wrist in slopestyle training run; female rider suffers concussion

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The challenging Olympic slopestyle course at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park has already taken out one favorite, and another contender had his own problems on it today: Team USA snowboarder Shaun White (pictured).

The two-time Olympic gold medalist jammed his left wrist in a fall one day after Norway’s Torstein Horgmo broke his collarbone in training and was subsequently ruled out of the Sochi Games.

However, White’s injury was relatively minor compared to the concussion sustained by female snowboarder Marika Enne of Finland after she fell and hit her head at the end of a run. She was taken off the course on a stretcher.

White, who’s also gunning for a third consecutive gold in the halfpipe in Sochi in addition to competing in slopestyle, said it’s been frustrating to witness the training incidents.

“It puts a damper on the whole mood and it’s kind of like you’re getting ready to do a big trick and you see something like that,” he said according to the Associated Press.

“Intimidating. Unfortunate. I’m hoping the builders can make some changes and the course has a little more of a friendly vibe. But I can’t change the course. Just doing the best I can.”

MORE: Beating Shaun White boosts Greg Bretz’s confidence heading into Sochi

Injuries are becoming a common thread among the favorites in the inaugural Olympic slopestyle competition.

In addition to Horgmo’s broken collarbone and White’s jammed wrist (not to mention the right shoulder injury he got in an Olympic qualifier event), Canada’s Mark McMorris is entering Sochi after breaking a rib in an incident at the Winter X Games last month in Aspen.

For his part, McMorris does not believe the course is an especially problematic one and noted that the sport altogether will always carry a risk for its competitors.

“I don’t think it’s dangerous,” he told the AP. “Snowboarding’s dangerous. But crossing the street is dangerous, too.”

After Horgmo was injured yesterday, officials met with male and female riders to discuss possible tweaks to the slopestyle course.

Slopestyle snowboard medal hopeful Horgmo out of Olympics (UPDATED)

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UPDATE (9:35 a.m. ET): Officials have confirmed that changes will indeed be made to the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park slopestyle course after top Norwegian snowboarder Torstein Horgmo (pictured) suffered a broken collarbone in a training crash today and was subsequently ruled out of the Olympics.

The New York Times reports that male and female snowboarders proposed those changes in a meeting with officials following the training session. Assistant snowboard race director Roberto Moresi said that the course would be modified ahead of Thursday’s qualifications.

Per the Olympic News Service, Horgmo crashed on the rail feature at the top of the course. He was awake and alert according to Norway’s team manager, Thomas Harstad, before being taken via ambulance to the athletes’ hospital in Krasnaya Polyana.

“It was on the first rail element it happened,” team coach Per-Iver Grimsrud said according to Reuters. “He was doing a switch hardway, backside 270. He landed wrong on the rail, and then he fell into the stairs to the side.”

Horgmo, 26, the gold medal winner in Big Air at the 2013 Winter X Games, had been considered a threat to take one of the first-ever medals in the slopestyle snowboarding competition, which will have its medal events take place on Saturday (men’s) and Sunday (women’s).

Irish snowboarder Seamus O’Connor had said the riders needed to speak up about fixing some of the jumps on the course, while 2013 slopestyle world champion Roope Tonteri of Finland dubbed the entire course “pretty sketchy.”

“I think they wanted to make big kickers, and it’s not really good for riders, and it’s not really safe,” Tonteri told the Associated Press. “I just don’t want to get injured. It’s not a really fun course to ride.”

source:
Workers make changes to the Sochi Olympic slopestyle course. Credit: Nick Casanova/NBC Sports

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