Snowboarding star Shaun White recovering from COVID as Beijing looms

China 2022

Shaun White, of United States, hits the lip of the halfpipe in the second run during halfpipe qualifying Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at the U.S. Grand Prix snowboarding event at Copper Mountain, Colo. (AP Photo/Hugh Carey)

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. (AP) — Snowboarding star Shaun White has another obstacle to deal with as he eyes a bid for a fourth Olympic gold medal on the halfpipe: COVID-19.

White told Olympics.com on Thursday that he tested positive last month after competing in an event in Colorado. The 35-year-old was symptomatic but has been cleared to compete in a qualifying event this weekend at Mammoth Mountain, the last qualifying event for the U.S. Olympic Team.

“I’m just thankful that like I started testing negative before this competition, so I’m allowed to compete because that would have been a real frustrating position to be in to where, you know, it’s the last qualifier and I can’t ride,” he said.

White said he had asthma as a child and has a heart condition. He described his bout with COVID-19 to a “lingering cold.”

White is returning to the sport after a three-year break and is hoping to make the four-man Olympic snowboarding team. At least one of the spots will be awarded through a coach’s selection. White is coming off a seventh-place finish last month but his experience and resume figure to give him the inside track to make the squad.

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