Recent injuries not sparking changes

PARK CITY, Utah -- The leader of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association says snowboarders are always looking to make their sport safer but didn't point toward immediate changes in the aftermath of halfpipe rider Kevin Pearce's injury.

Bill Marolt, speaking in a conference call Tuesday, says the 22-foot-high halfpipe, which will make its Olympic debut next month, is better cared for than its 18-foot predecessors. Pearce was training on a 22-foot pipe last month when he hit his head on the side. He's hospitalized with a severe brain injury.

Marolt says the USSA works hard to make sure athletes aren't taking unsafe chances. Another top snowboarder, Antti Autti of Finland, hopes to be ready for the Olympics after breaking ribs and injuring his spleen last month.