Shaun White is an American snowboarding legend who has won multiple gold medals in the Olympics and X Games. Despite being born with a heart defect, White started snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, and skiing at a very young age, and ended up winning his first snowboarding competition at only 7 years old. At 13, he was considered a professional for the sport. When Shaun White was 15, he fell 0.3 points short of qualifying for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City Utah. However, when it became time to qualify for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, he not only qualified for the Olympics, but actually won the halfpipe in all five grand prix events.
In 2003, Shaun White entered the professional skateboard circuit and ended up winning two gold medals in the vertical skateboarding competition at the Summer Olympics. He also rode for Tony Hawk's Birdhouse Skateboards.
Shaun White entered his first snowboarding contest at the age of seven, and actually ended up winning. A year later, Shaun's snowboarding talent really started to take off. He was jumping 5 feet higher than the other kids his age, adding in more spins and flips than anyone else could do.
Shaun's first year as a pro started off strong, placing in the top ten at most major competitions. However, since he was so young he was only really known as the "cute little kid." His second season included many second place finishes, making himself a little more respectable in the industry.
When he was 14, he missed the cutoff to compete at the 2002 Olympics by 0.3 points. His disappointment fueled a rage to get faster and better, so the following year he won two events at the 2003 X Games. From that moment on, he grew to be the greatest snowboarder in the world, winning medals in almost every competition.
In 2006, Shaun White was a media sensation, earning himself the nickname of the Flying Tomato. He finally earned a spot into the 2006 Winter Olympics games in Turin on Team USA. When it came time for competition, he won gold in the men's snowboard half-pipe event. After flying home from Turin on NBC's private jet, he was named Transworld Snowboarding Rider of the year.
In 2007, Shaun White won gold in the U.S. Open half-pipe competition. He also won the same first place medal the following year in 2008. In 2009, Shaun White started developing new tricks for the 2010 Winter Olympic games. At the games in Vancouver, he landed a double McTwist 1260 during his second run, winning gold with a score of 48.4 out of 50.
Shaun White has one of the most honorable careers, being the first athlete to compete in both the Summer and Winter X Games. He was also the only athlete to ever win back to back gold medals in the Winter X-Games SuperPipe.
Shaun White was born to Roger and Cathy White on September 3rd, 1986 in San Diego, California. He had a heart defect that resulted in two open-heart operations before the age of one. Shaun White was the youngest child of three, with an older sister Kari and older brother Jesse. When Shaun White was nine years old, he became close friends with Tony Hawk.
As a family growing up in California, surfing and skateboarding were introduced to Shaun and his siblings at a young age. They also spent winters skiing at Big Bear mountain in the snowy mountains of California.
Although his snowboarding and skateboarding achievements define his career, Shaun White has also been involved as an actor and singer. He has made cameo appearances in the 2011 film Friends with Benefits, the 2014 Disney movie Cloud 9, and even made an appearance on the animated show American Dad.
Shaun White has been training intensely for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Although he will be 35 when the time comes to compete, he is hoping that he can still harness his talent from his early 20's against some of the newer, younger snowboarders. Due to the coronavirus quarantine, he had been doing mainly weight training until mountains opened up for snowboarding.
Although Shaun White is very talented in both sports, his fame comes from his snowboarding ability. He has won numerous medals in skateboarding competitions, but even those can't compete with his three Olympic gold medals and 23 X-Games medals for snowboarding. He has also discovered dozens of snowboarding tricks that were never done before he developed them. Recently, due to his age, he has focused much more on snowboarding training rather than his skateboarding tricks.
Shaun White's biggest accomplishment is winning gold at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin. He had previously barely missed the cut-off to participate in the 2002 Olympic Games, and spent all 4 years training for the 2006 games. As a young participant, he came in and landed the almost impossible double McTwist 1260. When being interviewed after the competition, Shaun got very emotional since all of his hard work had finally paid off.
Shaun White has inspired youth snowboarders all over the world. He was the youngest and greatest competitor ever, showing people that you can go faster and jump higher. He also discovered many tricks within the sport that had previously not been known. His continuous drive to train hard and become better turned him into one of the greatest Olympic athletes in the world.