Shaun White makes cut in snowboard slopestyle elimination
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” The Flying Tomato is in ” barely.
Shaun White, one of the most decorated athletes in the history of Winter X, managed to sneak into Saturday’s snowboard slopestyle final after nabbing the eighth and final qualifying spot in Friday’s elimination round at Buttermilk.
On a day when snowy conditions and low visibility caused problems for all riders, White, who is vying for a Winter X record eighth gold medal, scored a 67.66 on his second run to slip into eighth. Truckee, Calif.’s Chas Guldemond nabbed the top spot after two 78-point runs, and Seabrook, N.H.’s Scotty Lago was second with a 76.33.
Norway’s Andreas Wiig, who last year won his second consecutive gold in this event, finished fourth with a 73.33.
Kevin Pearce, thought by many to be White’s top competitor in slopestyle and in the pipe at these games, narrowly missed out qualifying after scoring a 66.66 ” good for ninth. The Norwich, Vt., native, who was second here last year when he competed in a record three events in one day, might have been hampered by injuries sustained during a training-run fall Thursday. Those injuries prompted him to pull out of Thursday’s night’s big air competition, which was won by Travis Rice.
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Rice, from Jackson Hole, Wyo., was one of a handful of big names to fail to qualify Friday. Torstein Horgmo, a Norwegian who finished second to Rice Thursday after winning gold in the inaugural big air event in 2008, was 15th. Former X Games medalist Mason Aguirre, of Mammoth, Calif, a former Winter X medalist, did not compete.
Before last year’s slopestyle final, White was jumping back and forth on his nose and tail in the start area to stay loose when, seconds later, cameras caught him bending down to retrieve a piece of his board that had apparently broken off.
He still managed to complete a solid run and went on to win bronze. One day later, he captured gold in the superpipe.
For complete coverage of Winter X Games 13, go to http://www.aspentimes.com/xgames.
1. Chas Guldemond / 78 / Truckee, Calif.
2. Scotty Lago / 76.33 / Seabrook, N.H.
3. Peetu Piiroinen / 75.66 / Hyvinkaa, Finland
4. Andreas Wiig / 73.33 / Oslo, Norway
5. Jussi Oksanen / 71.00 / Encinitas, Calif.
6. Mikael Bang / 70.66 / Oslo, Norway
7. Tim Humphreys / 69.66 / Basking Ridge, N.J.
8. Shaun White / 67.66 / Carlsbad, Calif.
9. Kevin Pearce / 66.66 / Norwich, Vt.
10. Eero Niemela / 63.66 / San Clemente, Calif.
11. Danny Davis / 58.33 / Highland, Mich.
12. Heikki Sorsa / 48.00 / Helsinki, Finland
13. Eero Ettala / 32.00 / Helsinki, Finland
14. Travis Rice / 23.33 / Jackson Hole, Wyo.
15. Torstein Horgmo / 22.33 / Trondheim, Norway
16. Mason Aguirre / DNC / Mammoth, Calif.
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Puckett was a five-time Olympian and World Cup skier