Thank you and we turn now to snowboarder Shaun white. The olympic star with a nearly flawless first run in sochi just moments ago. But it was white's decision to withdraw from slopestyle event a few... See More
Thank you and we turn now to snowboarder Shaun white. The olympic star with a nearly flawless first run in sochi just moments ago. But it was white's decision to withdraw from slopestyle event a few days ago. That has people talking. ABC's Matt Gutman has the latest from sochi. Matt. Reporter: Good morning, Lara. For the past week here in sochi the buzz is that Shaun white cares more about his image than he does about the team after backing out of slopestyle, but right now he's where he wants to be, in the snow on his board with competition under way. Later today Shaun white gets a shot at silencing his critics. This is my third olympics and my third chance to defend my title in the halfpipe and it's great, I mean just to be considered on top of a sport that's ever changing. Reporter: White knows a thing or two about change like one of his signature moves, the 27-year-old seems to have flipped his career and image upside down since he starred on the scene as a red-hair rebel in 2003 with his tomato nickname and locks. Some say the clean-cut white has lost his fearless edge. Here in sochi white shocked fans when he pulled out of the slopestyle competition after jamming his wrist in practice calling the course intimidating. Shaun white of 27 is not the same guy as Shaun white at 19. That's natural. Why would he expect anything less? He's smarter. He's looking out for himself. Reporter: And now accusations that by backing out of the slopestyle, which American sage kotsenburg won he stripped an olympic spot from another American. Some also slamming white for being more boardroom than snowboard these days building a multimillion dollar empire with endorsement deals from Oakley sunglasses, stride gum and target. Shaun -- Reporter: Appeared in the romantic comedy "Friends with benefits." Look great. Working out. Reporter: And plays guitar in a rock band called bad things. Overnight he said his family helps him tune out the critics. I don't really care what, you know, the media has to say. Unbelievable effect on me. Reporter: Some of the heats were delayed, well, because of the heat. Check out this snow. I the consistency of a snow cone. I'm told that's bad news for Shaun white's competitors much good news for him because he excels in these types of conditions. Lara? Of course, he does. Thank you so much, Matt.
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