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Kevin Rolland out of Winter X Tignes

Two-time defending Winter X Games Tignes Ski SuperPipe champion Kevin Rolland tore his left ACL while training Thursday in France, two weeks before he was slated to ski for a third straight gold medal in his home country.

Rolland underwent an MRI Friday afternoon that confirmed the tear, he said by phone from his home in La Plagne. He will miss the rest of the season.

Rolland injured the knee while training in Meribel apart from the rest of the French national halfpipe team, known as the Freeski Project. His head coach and teammates are at the U.S. Grand Prix this weekend in Mammoth, Calif., an event that doubles as a World Cup.

"I decided to stay here because of the jet lag, and I was thinking I don't need competition, I need training before Euro X," Rolland said. "I landed a double flat spin at the top of the wall, and I was a little bit twisted, like my legs were on the right side and my body was a little on the left. So on the transition, I don't know what happened, but my knee just twisted. I didn't fall; I landed on my feet, so I didn't understand why my knee twisted. That was it."

The ACL tear is the second of Rolland's career. Before he won back-to-back Winter X Games Aspen gold medals in 2010 and 2011, he tore his right ACL in practice at the 2008 X Games. He finished fourth in Aspen in January, ending his streak of four straight X Games victories between the United States and Europe. As one of the most famous freeskiers in France, Rolland figured to attract a large crowd for his title defense in Tignes.

"I'm really sad," he said. "Everybody's waiting for me here. It was a big contest to get revenge from the X Games in Aspen, because I finished fourth. I trained hard to try and win this comp, so it's pretty hard for me. But now it's done and I can't do anything. I'm just going to focus on next year, I'm going to get surgery, and then I'll do my recovery the best I can."

Rolland still plans to be in Tignes two weeks from now, supporting his teammates and commentating on TV. He said his surgery will likely fall "right after the X Games."