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Carlsbad's Shaun White Pulls Out of First Event in Sochi Olympics

"The Flying Tomato" will not compete in slopestyle. He will instead concentrate on the halfpipe event, where he's won two gold medals already.

Shaun White at Mammouth on Jan. 16, 2014. Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images
Shaun White at Mammouth on Jan. 16, 2014. Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Carlsbad's Shaun White announced today he is pulling out of the first event of the Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

The two-time gold medalist in the halfpipe announced he would bypass the slopestyle, an event making its Olympic debut tomorrow—10 tonight Pacific Time. That would allow "The Flying Tomato" to concentrate on trying for a third gold medal in the halfpipe, which takes place next week.

White is among several athletes injured in practice runs on the slopestyle course, but he said concerns about a jammed wrist were blown out of proportion.

"After much deliberation with my team, I have made the decision to focus solely on trying to bring home the third straight gold medal in halfpipe for Team USA," White said in a statement. "I know my fans will have my back on this difficult decision. Thanks for the continued support."

He said the potential for injury was too much of a risk for his other Olympic goals.

Norwegian Torstein Horgmo, a medal favorite who spent his off-season in the North County, broke his collarbone earlier this week on the slopestyle course and will not compete in the games.

Chas Guldemond, one of several American athletes in Sochi who spent time at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, remains entered in the slopestyle competition, according to NBC.

Competition in the Olympics begins Thursday and the opening ceremonies are set for Friday.

—City News Service

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