Shaun White has pulled out of the Winter X Games to prepare for the Winter Olympics.
White said two weeks ago he was unlikely to compete in the Aspen, Colo., event. ESPN, which reported White changed his mind and was going to compete on Tuesday, said on Wednesday White will sit out.
White will miss a Winter X Games for the first time this millennium, depriving fans of a pre-Olympic showdown with Swiss Iouri Podladtchikov and Japan’s Ayumu Hirano in halfpipe and Mark McMorris of Canada in slopestyle.
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White is an eight-time X Games halfpipe champion and five-time slopestyle champion in addition to a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
He qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team in halfpipe and slopestyle last weekend in Mammoth Mountain, Calif.