Shaun White hurts ankle, finishes 2nd in halfpipe event
Canadians Kim Lamarre, Mike Riddle impress
Shaun White, the world's top snowboarder finished second in the year's opening Olympic qualifier on Saturday, behind Greg Bretz, who all but sealed up a trip to his second Olympics.
"I was killing my run. I was, like, 'Wow, I'm really doing t,"' White said, a few minutes after walking away from the base of the pipe with the slightest of limps. "I kind of got in my head and forgot what I was doing. I didn't take off with enough momentum off the lip and it just kind of came around too slow and it happened."
He said he "hyperflexed" his ankle and is only in need of ice and rest to get going again. Unlike years past, however, White is trying for two Olympic golds in 2014, planning on competing in halfpipe and the newly added slopestyle event, as well.
While he didn't appear to take the result as much of a setback, it certainly made waves among the other riders, most of whom know they're usually trying for second whenever White is on the hill.
"Yeah, nine times out of 10, he might win," said Louie Vito, also a 2010 Olympian, who finished fourth Saturday.
"But that one time, it could be at the Olympics, it could be anywhere, it could be today. It's great for snowboarding."
On the women's side, defending Olympic champion Torah Bright of Australia won, taking a strong first step in her quest to compete in not two, but three, events in Sochi. In addition to halfpipe and slopestyle, she'll also be trying to make it in snowboardcross.
Two-time Olympic medallist Kelly Clark finished second and 13-year-old Chloe Kim, who isn't eligible for the Olympics, was third.
American Devin Logan took the women's skislope title. She's also trying to make it in halfpipe, where she finished sixth on Friday.
Kim Lamarre of Lac-Beauport, Que., won silver with 81.20 points.
"Today with the conditions, to me, just making it through final was my goal," said Lamarre. "I just wanted to keep things simple and have a good solid run with the style I like to put in to my run.
"That was my strategy today: just keep it good and focused."
Canadian freestyle skier Mike Riddle of Sherwood Park, Alta., finished fourth in the slopestyle competition won by American David Wise.