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Shaun White pulls out of X Games to rest for Olympics

White

COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO - DECEMBER 09: Shaun White #2 of the United States competes in the FIS World Cup 2018 Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe final during the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix on December 9, 2017 in Copper Mountain, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

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ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — Shaun White has withdrawn from the Winter X Games so he can return home to rest for the Olympics.

White caught the flu last week.

He was practicing in Aspen this week but notified event organizers he would not compete. He leaves for PyeongChang next Saturday.

Taking White’s place in the lineup for Sunday’s halfpipe contest is Toby Miller, the 17-year-old American who has been training and spending a lot of time with White.

All White’s biggest challengers — Ayumu Hirano, Iouri Podladtchikov and Scotty James — are set to start Sunday, while White watches from home.

White is an eight-time X Games champion in the halfpipe, but his main focus this season has been earning his third Olympic gold medal. He scored a 100 two weeks ago in Snowmass to win a qualifying event and secure his spot on the U.S. team.

His next competition will come Feb. 13 in the qualifying round of the Olympics.

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