Shaun White After 62 Stitches: 'I Scared Myself'

He hopes new tricks will propel him to 3rd Olympic gold
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2018 6:56 AM CST
In this Jan. 6, 2016, file photo, two-time Olympic snowboarder Shaun White trains at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Alberta.   (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
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(Newser) – A nasty crash hasn't kept Shaun White from dreaming up daring tricks as he eyes Olympic gold for a third time. The snowboarder, currently trying to qualify for the February games in Pyeongchang, needed 62 stitches after hitting his face off the edge of a half pipe during training in New Zealand in October. A video published Wednesday by Yahoo Sports shows the impact and blood-soaked snow before White is flown away in a helicopter with a bloodied face. "I scared myself," White says later from a hospital bed. "I haven't really had that much blood coming out of me before." Months later, White is back on his feet following surgery. "My health is great," he told USA Today last month, adding his injuries were "definitely jarring more mentally than physically."

"Having to wake up and look in the mirror and I have this big scar on my forehead and stuff, it's definitely not fun. It's a reminder," he continued. But will White—who has twice won gold medals in half pipe—be able to compete at what could be his last Olympics? That could depend on upcoming qualifying events in Snowmass, Colo., and Mammoth Mountain, Calif., where White will be vying for a top-two finish. Riders usually need only a top-three finish to make the US team—something White has already achieved—but a deep American bench means "more riders are likely to do that than there are spots," USA Today explains. "As far as my ability to go ride, I'm good," White says. He adds he has two new tricks in his pocket, including one never before seen in half pipe. (Read more Shaun White stories.)

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