Weekly five: Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic wipeouts

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Shaun White of the United States hits the edge of the half pipe during the men's snowboard halfpipe final at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Shaun White of the United States hits the edge of the half pipe during the men’s snowboard halfpipe final at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Shaun White, two-time Olympic gold medalist finished fourth in the men’s snowboard halfpipe final after more than 30 crashes by contestants in the qualifying round. One skier even pulled out of the ski halfpipe competition after a training crash left her unconscious. Here are a few of the most memorable 2014 Olympic wipeouts.

“There’s a lot of pride with team USA,” said Savanna Johnson, a political science major from Highland. “But if anybody crashes it makes me cringe because it always looks like it hurts. That being said, it amazes me how often they just get right back up.”

1. Rowan Cheshire knocked out during ski halfpipe training

British 18-year-old Rowan Cheshire fell on her face during a ski halfpipe training just four days before the final competition. She suffered a major concussion from her fall and had to spend the night in the hospital. Due to internationally agreed guidelines for concussions, Cheshire could not compete without six days of recovery. She posted selfies from the hospital and returned to the Olympic village to watch her competitors perform in the finals. She plans to compete in the next Olympics.

2. Shaun White hits an edge during the men’s halfpipe

“I’ve heard about the conditions in Sochi not being great, but maybe he’s losing his edge,” Jared Cooper, a history major from Roy, said of White’s wipeout. “He dropped out of the slopestyle and then went and bombed halfpipe. Go team USA, but that was a bummer.”

White one of the most recognized Winter Olympians ever placed just out of medal territory due to a crash during the men’s halfpipe final. He faltered on the landing of his second trick, sliding to the ground. Just after that he landed on the edge of the halfpipe, having to sit on the snow to catch his bearings. He finished the run with a score of only 35 and left his chance of a “three-peat” in that event.

3. Russia’s Anton Gafarov crashes during cross-country

After Anton Gafarov crashed and broke one of his skis during the cross-country skiing men’s spirit semi-final, he soldiered on, on one foot, falling repeatedly in front of his home fans. Canada coach Justin Wadsworth ran out onto the course and affixed a new ski onto Gafarov’s boot, allowing him to finish the race. He may have placed last, but he finished with cheers from the crowd.

“There’s so much disappointment that comes with someone crashing; everyone can relate to that,” said Josh Thorn, a pre-business major from Park City. “When the Canada coach gave him a new ski after he crashed, it displayed camaraderie and sportsmanship and the mutual feelings of both disappointment and hopefulness between all the people in the world.”

4. Devin Logan slides down the hill on her belly

United State’s Devin Logan crashed at the end of her run in the ski slopestyle finals. She slid down the hill on her belly, feet and skis crossed behind her, unable to recover from the fall. Thorn said athletes train for four years with the olympics in focus so “when they fall short” during their one chance “it’s a huge deal.”

“You are in front of the whole world, on your belly and that is so embarrassing,” Cooper said. “I feel bad for her, but I’m glad she’s okay.”

5. Maria Komissarova is having spinal surgery after her crash during slopestyle training

Doctors are operating on 23-year-old Komissarova’s spine after substantial injuries from her training runs at the Olympics. While it’s a grueling race and rough course, officials have said the accident had nothing to do with conditions of the Olympic park. Komissarova is expected to have a full recovery.

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