Blackwell misses finals at last Olympic qualifier; Gold doesn’t compete |

Blackwell misses finals at last Olympic qualifier; Gold doesn’t compete

Shaun White delights fans with his final run in the Dew Tour men’s snowboard superpipe final Dec. 19 at Copper Mountain Resort.
Liz Copan/For the Summit Daily News

On Thursday, Jan. 13, at Laax Ski Resort in Falera, Switzerland, the last Olympic qualifying opportunity for snowboard halfpipe athletes got underway.

The competition featured big names like the Japanese Hirano brothers, Shaun White and Summit County’s Chase Blackwell and Taylor Gold.

Blackwell had another less-than-ideal day in the halfpipe and was not able to put a clean run together. Blackwell scored a 22.80 on his first run and slightly improved his score on his second run to 31. Blackwell finished 41st out of 43 competitors.

Gold was scheduled to compete but decided not to start. Gold recently was announced as a member of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Team after finishing second at the 2021 Winter Dew Tour in December.

In a text after the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain last weekend, Gold said he was busy focusing on training in Switzerland for the upcoming Olympics instead of competing at the last Olympic qualifier.

For Shaun White, the competition in Switzerland represented his last chance to be named to his fifth Olympic team. Last weekend at the U.S. Grand Prix, White qualified for the finals but did not start because of a fall he took in training.

White returned to the halfpipe a week later to qualify for finals again, scoring 81.80 on his first run to finish with the seventh-best score.

White will be joined Saturday, Jan. 15, in the finals by Americans Joshua Bowman and Lucas Foster of Telluride.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.