Shaun White Reportedly Sitting out 2014 Winter X Games to Prepare for Olympics

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2014

MAMMOTH, CA - JANUARY 16:  Shaun White reacts as he heads down the slope after a fall during the Men's Snowboarding Slopestyle Final U.S. Olympic Qualification #3 at the 2014 Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix on January 16, 2014 in Mammoth, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Snowboarding star Shaun White has gone back and forth about his intentions to compete in the Winter X Games taking place from Jan. 23-26. According to SportsCenter, he has now decided that he will not participate in the annual event:

White originally stated he would not compete in the X Games to focus on the Winter Olympics in Sochi that start on Feb. 7. He explained, via Alyssa Roenigk of ESPN in a report from Jan. 17:

So far, the plan is still not to attend X. Especially considering how much work this has been to qualify for the Olympics. It's that time of, what do I really want to work on before the Olympics and you've only got one week to really crank it out.

However, he then changed his mind and made the following statement, per ESPN on Monday, Jan. 20:

It's a tough balance. I really want to get a lot of practice in before the Olympics but I am also much more motivated to give my best run in a competition and I'm excited to go out and do that at X Games.

As of Wednesday, Jan. 22, White has once again decided not to compete in the late-January competition.'s Colin Bane provides White's explanation:

"I've been competing in the X Games since I was 13 years old, they are a huge part of why I am where I am and they are vital to the sport. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the mountain and looked over the schedule, I knew I wasn't going to be able to complete the kind of training I know I need in order to prepare for Sochi," White said Wednesday after morning practice on the slopestyle course at Buttermilk Mountain. "It's an incredibly tough decision for me and it's not something I take lightly, especially as ESPN has always been a great supporter, but I have to make sure I'm prepared for the Olympics."

The 27-year-old athlete has already won Olympic gold medals in 2006 and 2010 in the half-pipe event. He will now look to win two more golds after qualifying in slopestyle, an event new to the Olympics this year, and half-pipe.

Of course, he also has plenty of history at the Winter X Games. He is the most decorated competitor at this competition, winning eight gold medals in superpipe and five in slopestyle.

His massive talent and experience will make him a favorite to win a gold medal in both events he's participating in at the Olympics.   

The risk of injury and possible fatigue might have been enough to convince White to avoid the X Games this time around. Hopefully for his sake, the decision will help him prepare for the Olympics.

As one of the most recognizable competitors from the United States at Sochi, he will certainly have a lot of people on his side.  


Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

Follow TheRobGoldberg on Twitter