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Shaun White back in for X Games Aspen 2014


Shaun White will compete at X Games Aspen this week after all, event organizers confirmed Tuesday.

The eight-time superpipe and five-time slopestyle gold medalist has never missed an X Games Aspen event, but that run appeared in danger last week when White told ESPN he would be skipping the X Games and that the next time he would compete would be at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

“So far, the plan is still not to attend X,” he said at Mammoth Mountain, “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, on Tuesday he told event organizers he will indeed compete in Aspen (coverage begins Thursday on ESPN, 9 p.m. ET). The slopestyle final is Saturday at 2 p.m. ET (ESPN), and the superpipe final is Sunday at 9 p.m. (ESPN).

White qualified for Sochi in slopestyle Thursday and will be joined on the U.S. Olympic team by Sage Kotsenburg and Chas Guldemond, who were named to the team Sunday, as well as Jamie Anderson and Ty Walker on the women’s side. Slopestyle is making its Olympic debut in Sochi.

White, the two-time defending Olympic halfpipe champion, locked up a spot on the U.S. Olympic halfpipe team as well, winning the final of five qualifiers Sunday.

At a ceremony following the competition, White, Dan Davis, 2010 Olympian Greg Bretz and U.S. Snowboarding rookie Taylor Gold were named to the U.S. Olympic halfpipe team.

White took a hard slam in his first run of the first of two slopestyle qualifiers Thursday and opted to skip the first halfpipe competition Friday. He said his ankle, which bothered him earlier in the season, is feeling great.

“That’s old news,” he said. “It’s the shoulder now.”

In the past couple of months, White has alluded to new tricks he has yet to debut in both his slopestyle and halfpipe runs. He showed his hand with a frontside double cork 1440 in a video released by GoPro in December but has yet to throw it in a contest run. He added a cab double 1440 (aka the switch frontside double 14) to the middle of his winning halfpipe run at Mammoth, the same trick Iouri Podladtchikov debuted at X Games Tignes in March and dubbed the “YOLO flip.”

“That’s the first time I’ve done [the cab double 1440] in a contest, let alone doing a double cork into it,” White said. “I’ve been waiting to break it out.”

White will compete in superpipe and slopestyle at X Games Aspen.

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