Shaun White makes last minute decision to compete at Laax Open World Cup in bid for fifth Olympic spot
Three-time Olympic snowboard champion will compete in Switzerland in a final attempt to impress U.S. team coaches for Beijing 2022 Olympic Games selection.
The last-minute decision is a final attempt by the American to show selectors he should be chosen to represent Team USA at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games in February.
The reigning halfpipe Olympic champion withdrew mid competition from the U.S. Grand Prix in Mammoth mountain last weekend. The event was the final Olympic qualifier for Team USA riders, and although White qualified third for the finals it's understood he pulled out due to lingering Covid-19 side effects, such as fatigue and shortness of breath.
The 35-year-old exclusively told Olympics.com last week that he was recovering from the virus. White said: "I unfortunately got Covid over the holidays, and now I'm bouncing back from it, and it's not been a fun experience."
"When I thought of my Olympic run, I didn't really picture this being the trajectory, but here we are." - Shaun White
The snowboard icon was also optimistic that his health was improving.
"So far, I've been steadily getting better. So it seems like, you know, hopefully the worst is behind me at this point. But yeah, I don't know. So let's hope there's not long-term effects, but thankfully I'm not at the beginning of my career here," White told Olympics.com.
He sits 14th in the World Snowboarding points rankings, behind fellow Americans Taylor Gold, Chase Josey and Lucas Foster.
White is yet to land a podium finish this season, which prevents him from securing an automatic spot on the Olympic team. He officially finished 12th at Mammoth Mountain last week and in the three prior qualifying events he finished fourth, seventh, and eighth.
A good result at the World Cup in Laax would help his case for securing a discretionary spot on Team USA as he chases a dream of a fourth gold medal, at Beijing 2022.