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Shaun White withdraws from Sochi’s slopestyle snowboard event

SOCHI, Russia — U.S. snowboarding star Shaun White said Wednesday he won’t take part in the Olympics’ first-ever slopestyle competition, saying he’ll focus instead on winning another gold in the halfpipe event.

The news comes one day before qualifying runs for slopestyle snowboarding begin at the games in Sochi, Russia.

“The difficult decision to forego slopestyle is not one I take lightly as I know how much effort everyone has put into holding the slopestyle event for the first time in Olympic history, a history I had planned on being part of,” White said in a statement released by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

White, who took gold medals in the halfpipe competition at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics, voiced concerns about the difficulty of the slopestyle course during training runs earlier this week.

The halfpipe finals are set for Tuesday.

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