Shaun White speaks during the USA Snowboarding Halfpipe Press Conference at Gorki Media Center.
(Photo: Andrew P. Scott, USA TODAY Sports)
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (USATODAY.com) - Shaun White returned to the Olympic halfpipe in the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on Sunday night for a second training session.
He found some improvements to the pipe, but was among many riders with concerns about the conditions of the course where the men's competition will be held on Tuesday. White won the Olympic halfpipe gold in 2006 and 2010.
"Today was, uh, not the best," White said, trying to be polite, as he stopped for a brief interview with several reporters after the session.
White spent about an hour riding the halfpipe on Saturday and another hour Sunday evening. Riders will return for a final training session on Monday morning.
"The first day, the walls were a little over-[vertical], so everybody was doing airs, and then landing like pretty flat," White said. "Today, they made the walls better so everybody lands [correctly], but in the flat bottom, where they cut it, it's like a bump, so everyone is riding along and then hits the bump, and that's really not very good."
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The course will be re-cut overnight before the final practice session, and White gave an OK sign with his hand to indicate he believes the course will be in better shape next time he rides it.
"I'm sure it will be. I have faith," White said before leaving the area.
Numerous riders fell throughout the training session Sunday that lasted more than two hours, but there did not appear to be any significant issues.
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American Kelly Clark was among the riders who came to Sochi last year for a test event, and even if the current halfpipe isn't perfect, she said it is markedly improved.
"It was very challenging," Clark said, purposefully avoiding using the word "bad." "So for me, I know I can't control what the pipe conditions are. It has the potential to be variable, and I'm going to make the most of this opportunity."