Snowboarding superstar Shaun White is all but certain of his fifth Winter Olympic appearance.
The three-time gold medalist in the halfpipe finished fifth in qualifying at the World Cup in Laax, Switzerland. Chase Blackwell, his competitor for the last Olympic ticket for the USA team, was eliminated. This means that fourth-placed White (35) can no longer be overtaken by Blackwell in the internal ranking.
The US association must announce the final nomination for the Winter Games in Beijing (February 4 to 20) by January 21 at the latest. So far, only the start of Taylor Gold is certain, and Chase Josey and Lucas Foster are ahead of White. When deciding on the other starting places, the team management has a margin of discretion, but anything other than a renewed nomination of the legend White would be surprising.
A week ago, White, who has not been in top form this winter, publicly announced that he had been suffering from a corona infection until recently. The illness was also problematic for him purely for health reasons, White reported. “I had asthma as a kid and I have heart disease. Everything that has to do with the lungs and respiratory system isn’t great and it was just like having a cold,” he told Olympics.com.
Last weekend he retired from the final of the competition in Mammoth Mountain (California) after a fall. In Laax on Saturday (from 5.30 p.m.) White is fighting for his first World Cup victory since 2018.