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Shaun White ‘more motivated’ to compete than before Sochi

Shaun White

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 01: Davis LeDuke and Shaun White of Bad Things perform at the Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival on September 1, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Suzi Pratt/FilmMagic)


Shaun White is more motivated to keep competing after his Olympic disappointment, particularly in slopestyle, he said on a New York media tour Tuesday.

In Sochi, White pulled out of the first Olympic slopestyle competition the day before it went off, citing injury risk on the modified course. He did enter the halfpipe and finished fourth, failing to defend a title he won at the 2006 and 2010 Olympics.

In his first interviews after finishing fourth, White said he wasn’t sure he would try for a fourth Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018. One day later, asked if he would try for 2018 at age 31, he said, “I think so.”

White’s stance is a little more optimistic, seven months later.

“I’d love to be there,” White told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

“I feel way more motivated than I did before the Olympics,” White told “SI Now.” “That’s the blessing in disguise [from what happened in Sochi]. ... It’s like that terrible scenario where you’re like, I remember that was the hardest time of my life, but this happened because of that. ... It’s that moment, I just haven’t had enough time to pass to really see what the benefits are yet.”

White hasn’t competed since Sochi, instead touring with his band, Bad Things.

“The funniest thing I heard is I’m retiring,” White said on “SI Now.” “Media, in a sense, it can get twisted and turned in different ways. I think somebody in passing asked me if I was feeling like retiring, and I said no. The headline read, ‘Shaun White contemplates retirement.’ I’m like, whoa, technically, I guess, yes, I did contemplate it for that minute, but I never really thought about it. So I’m excited to get out and compete and show, put that rumor to rest.”

And he’s not done with slopestyle, either. He’ll have an entire Olympic cycle to balance halfpipe and slopestyle for Pyeongchang.

“I would be lying to say I didn’t maybe bite off a little more than I could chew for this [past] Olympics, just training-wise, it was a gauntlet to try to do both [halfpipe and slopestyle],” White said on “SI Now.” “I’m probably more poised to compete in slopestyle in the next Olympics.”

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