Shaun White Looks to the Olympics
With an excellent performance at the X Games behind him, Shaun White now has his sights set on the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
This year, White claimed his sixth SuperPipe title. However, the Slopestyle competition—in which he placed fifth—may be his best source of encouragement.
The X Games in Aspen helped identify the serious Olympic contenders, as well as the work each athlete needs to do to prepare.
In the Slopestyle competition, athletes try to put together a difficult series of spins, grabs, grinds and flips, while also getting the highest amplitude off of jumps. The Slopestyle course includes jumps, rails and obstacles and is 20-80 feet long.
On the SuperPipe competition, athletes throw huge tricks while riding the 567-foot halfpipe with 22-foot, near-vertical walls.
The Olympic Games will feature three snowboard events: halfpipe, the parallel giant slalom and snowboard cross.
There may still be some wildcards in the Olympics, as several athletes were unable to compete in the finals at the X Games. Luori Podlatchikov—who entered the SuperPipe final in first place—dropped out due to stomach issues and another notable contender, Matt Ladley, missing the competition after a crash.