Shaun White: Focusing on halfpipe

"There are definitely concerns about the course," he said. "It's been interesting to see how it's developed and changed over the past couple days. The big question is, if it will continue to change. Because every day, they have riders meetings and they give feedback. Sometimes there's changes, sometimes there's not."

Many riders said the dangers of the course were being overblown -- "There's no way this course is too dangerous," Kotsenburg insisted.

But White certainly wasn't alone in questioning the course.

Australian Torah Bright, the defending women's halfpipe champion who is trying to compete in three events this year -- halfpipe, slopestyle and a racer's version called snowboardcross -- also described an overly treacherous few days of training.

"We're here as the world's best snowboarders," she told The Associated Press. "Too bad we don't have a world-class course. The craftsmanship doesn't match the world-class athletes that are here."

Another top rider, Torstein Horgmo of Norway, was forced out after breaking his collarbone during practice Monday. On Tuesday, Finnish rider Marika Enne was carted off the course with a concussion.

There were dozens of other less-serious flips and spills.

Other competitors questioned White's motive.

Canada's Max Parrot, who won slopestyle at X Games Aspen last month, tweeted: "Shaun knows he won't be able to win the slopes, thats why he pulled out. He's scared!"

Parrot later deleted the tweet, but Canadian slopestyle teammate Sebastien Toutant also got in a dig at White.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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