Dec 17, 2013, 8:36 PM EDT
Shaun White is not entered in the halfpipe but still plans on competing in slopestyle at the second Olympic selection event in Copper Mountain, Colo., as he returns from an ankle injury.
The two-time reigning Olympic champion was not on the halfpipe start lists released Tuesday for Wednesday’s qualification heats. The public relations director for Shaun White Enterprises confirmed White’s absence from halfpipe Tuesday night.
White, 27, was questionable for Copper Mountain after suffering an ankle injury in a crash in the Dew Tour halfpipe final in Breckenridge on Saturday. He pulled out of the slopestyle final Sunday.
U.S. Snowboarding and the public relations director for Shaun White Enterprises previously said White planned on competing in both halfpipe and slopestyle in Copper Mountain this week.
White’s absence in the halfpipe will not have much impact on his Olympic qualification given he already has a second-place finish from Breckenridge, there are three more selection events after this week and he could be placed on the U.S. Olympic Team as a discretionary selection.
The Olympic selection standings are based on an athlete’s two best results over the five-event series.
White’s entry in his second event, slopestyle, is more important. Those entry lists should come out late Wednesday for Thursday qualifying.
The Copper Mountain slopestyle is key for White because he doesn’t have the necessary International Ski Federation (FIS) points in slopestyle to qualify for the Sochi Olympics yet.
Copper Mountain is the single Olympic selection event of the five-event series that doubles as an FIS World Cup event, meaning White can pick up the necessary FIS points this week if he competes.
If White doesn’t compete in Copper Mountain slopestyle, he would have to travel to Stoneham, Quebec, in January for an FIS World Cup that takes place at the same time as the final Olympic selection event in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
NBCSN will have coverage of action from Copper Mountain on Saturday from 2-3 p.m. ET. NBC will have coverage on Sunday from 2-4 ET.
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