It was a little bit of a shock when U.S. snowboarding champion Shaun White superior to the finals within the halfpipe competitors on the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The three-time gold medalist got here to the Video games as a 35-year outdated underdog. A consummate competitor, White thrived below the strain, overcoming a fall in his first run down the halfpipe to make it by way of to the ultimate spherical of his fifth Olympic Video games. It was a bittersweet second, although, as a result of White has stated the Beijing Video games will probably be his final Olympics and his ultimate contest.
Whereas he’s not a favourite to win gold, there’s no denying his potential to shock, notably in high-pressure conditions and he ought to by no means be counted out of competition. No matter whether or not he medals in what’s prone to be his final look on the Olympic Video games, the snowboarder has made a big impact on the game. Even in his ultimate Video games, he’s making historical past because the oldest male halfpipe rider ever to take part in Olympic competitors.
Learn extra: Right here’s How Many Medals Each Nation Has Received on the Beijing Olympics
White was born in San Diego, with a coronary heart defect that required two operations earlier than he was the age of two. Overcoming that issue, White first tried snowboarding on the age of 6. Based on his profile on the Olympics web site, it was an try to sustain along with his older brother, Jesse. He additionally began skateboarding across the similar time—and for a similar cause.
At simply 7 years outdated, White landed his first endorsement take care of Burton, a snowboarding attire and gear firm. He went professional at age 13 and by the age of 15 was making an attempt to qualify for Crew USA, lacking the cutoff by simply 0.3 factors.
Right here’s a take a look at all White’s Olympic performances—and medals—so far:
2006: Gold in Torino
In 2006, the then-19 yr outdated stormed onto the Olympic scene, incomes the nickname of “The Flying Tomato” due to his lengthy pink hair. He received gold within the halfpipe at Turin 2006, after staging a shocking comeback.
The California native additionally competes in skateboarding and received a gold medal at the X Video games in 2007, a feat he repeated in 2011. He’s probably the most adorned X Video games athlete and the primary athlete to compete in each the Winter and Summer season X Video games.
2010: Gold in Vancouver
On the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, White secured the gold along with his first run. On his second flip, he debuted a brand new trick, the Double McTwist 1260. It’s a high-flying twist that has turn out to be his trademark, one which he even used to qualify for the finals on the Beijing Video games.
Learn extra: Chloe Kim Makes Historical past With Gold Medal in Ladies’s Snowboard Halfpipe
2014: Fourth in Sochi
White had a disappointing end within the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, the place he positioned fourth in his signature half-pipe occasion. Controversy has clouded a few of White’s legacy. He was accused of sexual harassment whereas on the Video games, reaching an undisclosed settlement in 2017.
2018: Gold in PyeongChang
Simply months out from the 2018 Winter Olympics, White fell throughout follow in New Zealand, a crash that resulted in 62 stitches and lacking a month of coaching. Regardless of that setback, White scored an ideal 100 in his qualifying occasion incomes a spot on the Video games in PyeongChang, South Korea. There, he landed back-to-back 1440s—a jaw-dropping transfer that requires 4 full aerial revolutions—to assist safe his third gold medal. The win not solely put White within the historical past books, however White’s gold medal was the a centesimal American gold medal in all of Winter Olympics historical past.
Whereas vying for a spot on the 2022 Video games on the U.S. Grand Prix in January, White not solely certified for his fourth Olympic staff but additionally scored an ideal 100—the second good rating of his profession. Now, he’s the oldest snowboarder and competing in his fourth Olympics.