As Shaun White Withdraws Citing Injury, 17-Year-Old Dusty Henricksen Shines At X Games

by Chrös McDougall

Dusty Henricksen during a warm up run at the U.S. Grand Prix on Feb. 1, 2020 in Mammoth, Calif.


The long-awaited return of Shaun White to the X Games was not to be as the 15-time champ injured his knee ahead of Sunday night’s halfpipe snowboarding final.
“I tweaked my knee during practice this week and after talking with the medical staff, decided that pushing through would only make things worse,” White posted to Instagram just hours before the competition. “It’s a difficult decision to make, but just need to give my knee some time to recover and I’ll be back soon.”
The X Games were to be White’s first competition since winning a third Olympic gold medal in 2018 in PyeongChang. The 34-year-old last competed at the X Games in 2017, and recently returned to the sport after attempting to qualify for the 2021 Olympics in skateboarding.
Among White’s X Games wins, eight were in halfpipe snowboarding, though his last victory was in 2013.
The final day at Buttermilk in Aspen was not without big stars, though.
In the day’s first competition 17-year-old Dusty Henricksen got things started by becoming the first U.S. man to win the X Games Aspen slopestyle snowboarding competition since White in 2009.
The native of  Mammoth Lakes, California, had earlier made waves by winning the knuckle huck competition on Friday, and he ended the weekend by finishing seventh in big air.
Snowboarder Jamie Anderson was also on her game Sunday, claiming her eighth X Games gold medal but first in big air. She had won her seventh gold medal on Friday in slopestyle, the event in which she’s also a two-time Olympic champion.
Nick Goepper, a two-time Olympian and two-time medalist, won slopestyle skiing for his first X Games gold medal since winning three in a row from 2013-15.

Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic Movement for since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.