Shaun White clips face during practice run, will still compete in Winter X Games superpipe final

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 29, 2010 7:53 pm

ASPEN, Colo. — Shaun White clipped his face against the top of the superpipe while practicing his most difficult trick Friday at the Winter X Games, but walked away from the accident and was expected to compete in the finals.

The accident came as he was preparing to go for his third straight Winter X title, and offered a startling reminder of how dangerous his newly invented trick can be.

The 2006 Olympic gold medalist was trying his new Double McTwist 1260, a trick in which he flips head over heels twice while spinning 3½ times.

On his descent, his face bashed the top of the pipe, his head snapped back and his helmet flew off. He made it off the course under his own power, with a red mark on his left jaw.

His representative, Caroline Andrew, said he would compete in the final.

“He’s OK,” she said. “He’s riding. He’s in good spirits.”

Minutes after the wreck, White took another, less-daunting practice run, then rode off the pipe, high-fiving fans in the crowd. A little later, he saw the footage on a replay and grimaced and put his hands over his head.

But he was smiling and appeared ready to go. In the X Games, each rider makes three runs down the pipe and the best score counts. In qualifying, White scored a 97.66 — only 2.34 short of perfect — without trying the Double McTwist 1260.