Shaun White, the two-time Olympic gold medalist in halfpipe, recovered from an ugly crash earlier in the day to earn a place at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
On Thursday, a face-first crash had many concerned that White had broken several bones, according to the Huffington Post
. Olympics network NBC held its breath because White has been tabbed as the U.S. celebrity replacement for skier Lindsey Vonn
who passed on the Winter Olympics after a leg injury.
"I haven't taken a hit like that in a long time," White told The Associated Press. "I went down and got some food and some medicine and came back and just knew that was all I had in me."
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After lunch, White put together three straight jumps to score a 95.2, making him the top American in two of the four qualifiers, and securing a spot on the U.S. team. On Friday, White was scheduled to ride the halfpipe and earn a spot there.
This is the first year for slopestyle at the Olympics, and White is vying for a gold medal in both events.
"You crash, and then the next morning is when you really feel it," he told AP on Thursday. "I have a date with a tub full of ice right now. I'm so thankful to make that run and to be on top of the podium and heading to Sochi. I'm 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."
In addition to his two gold medals at the 2006 and 2010 Olympics, the 27-year-old White has five X-Games gold medals in the Men's Snowboard SuperPipe.
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