At the age of 35, snowboarding athlete Shaun White announced that he was retiring from further Olympic competitions during the 2022 Olympics. A combination of age and previous injuries seemed to be taking a toll on his body’s ability to perform as desired. The Beijing games represented his fifth participation in the worldwide gathering of athletes. At the time, White remained the solitary snowboarding champion to win three gold medals in the sport. White’s love of snowboarding helps him leave behind an impressive legacy.
Shawn White was born in San Diego in 1986. A heart defect necessitated two surgeries before he reached the age of five. But, already exhibiting a determined attitude, the young White began skateboarding with his older brother. By the age of six, he was snowboarding. At the age of seven, White became a sponsor for Burton snowboards. During his career, White gained sponsorship from HP, Mountain Dew, Target, and T-mobile. His promotional ventures include a clothing line, snowboarding DVDs, and video games.
He competed in his first Winter X Games in 2002. White became the first male athlete to win in the slopestyle competition. He achieved a gold medal in the men’s halfpipe event at the 2006 Winter Olympics four years later. White won another gold in 2010 at the Olympics, which took place in Vancouver, Canada. He was scheduled to once again compete in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. However, the popular snowboarder deemed the course too hazardous and backed out of the competition. Two Olympians suffered serious injuries on the course. None of the other American participants qualified. Shortly thereafter, White turned his attention to competing in the halfpipe.
Tragically, a serious fall in October 2017 nearly ended his career. While training in New Zealand, malpositioning while in the air caused White to land head first. Noticeable injuries included facial lacerations that required 62 stitches. He contemplated retirement while recovering in the intensive care unit. But, White did recover, returned to training, and competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Despite competing with younger athletes in Pyeong Chang, he scored 97.75 for dual 1440s, which gave him a third gold medal and the 100th for the USA team.