Friday, January 28

Snowboarding: uncertainty over Shaun White’s selection for the Beijing Games

Halfpipe specialist Shaun White of the United States at the Mammoth Mountain Grand Prix in California on January 7, 2022 Maddie Meyer

Snowboard star Shaun White, three-time Olympic halfpipe champion, can still hope to be selected for the United States squad at the Beijing Games, but that will depend on his good health after he injured his ankle Saturday night.

A rather heavy fall in qualifying, at the end of which he was nevertheless able to reach the final of the competition at Mammoth Mountain (California), the last allowing to validate a ticket for the Olympics (February 5-20), clearly worsened the condition of his right ankle, already sore lately.

As a precaution, White then decided to give up competing in what was the most important race of his pre-Olympic winter, knowing that he had failed in 8th place in the previous one, in December in Colorado.

A choice driven by the virtual certainty of nevertheless being able to be assured of going to Beijing. Because of the four accessits in play, three result from the cumulative results of the candidates and one must be awarded at the discretion of the coaches of the American team.

However, given his status as a snowboard legend, it seems to be promised to him.

But the coaches of the US Olympic team have given themselves time – and therefore to White especially so that he provides guarantees on his state of form – in order to finalize their selection, which will not be revealed before January 21. .

“He just wants to train and continue to work hard and improve. He hopes that the place he currently occupies is solid and that he can be named to the team,” said the head coach of United States Olympic Ski and Snowboard Team Mike Jankowski.

A race against time of about two weeks therefore awaits White, whose difficulties have accumulated in recent weeks, since he tested positive for Covid-19 before Christmas.

“In terms of the lungs and breathing, it was not great”, has also recently confided the one who was born with a heart defect for which he underwent two major operations before the age of one year.

The American nevertheless hopes to play at 35 a fifth and last Olympiad. It would be a first victory, before possibly adding a fourth gold medal to those gleaned in 2006 in Turin, at 19, in 2010 in Vancouver, then in 2018 in Pyeongchang.

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