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Shaun White crashes, qualifies for Olympic slopestyle team

Shaun White crashes, qualifies for Olympic slopestyle team

Not only is Shaun White the face of U.S. snowboarding, he's the most recognizable figure in the sport. But the reigning two-time Olympic halfpipe champion went face-first into the mountain during a qualifying run at Mammoth Mountain Thursday while trying to earn a spot on the inaugural slopestyle team. The scary crash occurred during an early run when White caught an edge and wrecked hard. Considered a favorite to win the new event in Sochi, the popular athlete stayed on the ground for nearly five minutes before making his way down the mountain under his own power.

Two hours later, White rebounded in dramatic fashion with a flawless run to earn the highest score of the day. The ride was also good enough clinch a spot on the squad heading to Russia. "I’m just so thankful to make that run and to be on top of the podium and heading to Sochi," said the 27-year-old. "I’m just beside myself. It went from one side of the coin all the way to the other from this morning with that crash to now winning."

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