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Olympic Halfpipe Champ I-Pod Won't Defend Title

Friday, February 9, 2018

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — Olympic halfpipe champion Iouri Podladtchikov won't defend his title because of injuries he suffered last month at the Winter X Games.

The 2014 gold medalist, known as the I-Pod, practiced on the Olympic halfpipe Friday but afterward said it would be "totally unreasonable" for him to compete.

The Russia native who competes for Switzerland took a nasty fall on his final jump at the X Games on Jan. 28, banging his face against the bottom of the pipe. He lay motionless for more than 10 minutes while medics stabilized his neck and strapped him to a stretcher.

He was diagnosed with a broken nose and released from the hospital the next day. He traveled to South Korea with the hopes of competing next Tuesday, but realized quickly it wouldn't be possible.