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Shaun White

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Shaun White
Shaun White 2008.jpg
White in 2008
Personal information
Full name Shaun Roger White
Born (1986-09-03) September 3, 1986 (age 31)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight 154 lb (70 kg)
Country  United States
Sport Snowboarding, Skateboarding

Shaun Roger White (born September 3, 1986) is an American professional snowboarder and skateboarder. He is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. He holds the record for the most X-Games gold medals and has won 10 ESPY Awards.

Early life

White was born in San Diego, California. His ancestry includes Irish and Italian.[1][2] He was born with a Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect for which he endured two open-heart operations before the age of one.[3] He stands 5'8" (1.73 m) tall. White spent his formative years riding Okemo Mountain and Bear Mountain, small ski resorts found in Ludlow, Vermont, and the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California.


White quickly drew the eyes of many in the skateboarder scene, including professional skateboarder Tony Hawk. Hawk befriended the nine-year-old White at a local skatepark and mentored him, helping him turn pro in skateboarding at the age of 17. White has won many titles on his skateboard, including the overall title of Action Sports Tour Champion, and was the first person to compete in and win both the Summer and Winter X Games in two different sports.

Snowboarding career

Following in his older brother's footsteps, White switched from skiing to snowboarding at age six, and by age seven he received his first sponsorship. White has participated in three Winter Olympics in his career. At both the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics, White won gold in the snowboard halfpipe event. White has also participated in the Winter X Games, where he has won a medal every year since 2002. Including all winter X Games competitions through 2013, his medal count stands at 18 (13 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze), among which is the first quadruple win streak by a male athlete in one discipline, the snowboard slopestyle. White's streak was snapped in 2007 when he lost to Andreas Wiig and Teddy Flandreau, with White taking the bronze. He won the Air & Style Contest in 2003 and 2004.

2006 Winter Olympics

At the 2006 Winter Olympics, White won gold in the half-pipe.[4] After his first run in qualifications, White was almost out of competition, scoring only 37.7. On his second run, he recorded a score of 45.3. In the finals, White recorded a score of 46.8 (50 is the highest possible score) to win. Fellow American Danny Kass won the silver with a points total of 44.0.[5]


Executing a near-flawless second run, White captured his third consecutive snowboard halfpipe title at the 2008 U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships to go along with his third US Open slopestyle competition. This followed White's win at the 25th (2007) Burton US Open, where he placed third in slopestlyle and first in the halfpipe. At the 2007 Open, White was also crowned the first "Burton Global Open Champion". His take for the event was $100,000 (Global Open Champ), $20,000 (1st Place Halfpipe), $90,000 (3rd Place Slopestyle), and a new Corvette.

On November 16, 2008, White released his first videogame "Shaun White Snowboarding" in North America (November 14, 2008, in Europe). Shaun White:Snowboarding was the 20th best-selling game of December 2008 in the United States.[citation needed]


White with Richard Branson in 2009

There was a lot of controversy over who won the 2009 SuperPipe at Winter X Games XIII[citation needed]. Kevin Pearce had 5 hits in the pipe, and all were the same tricks White did in his final run. White, on the other hand, had 6 hits and he started off his run with a big backside rodeo 540 where Pearce started his run off with a big grab. Although Pearce went bigger, he had only 5 hits, and his first hit wasn't as technical as White's first hit.[citation needed] Judges came to the conclusion that White deserved the better score because he started off with a more technical trick and he had 1 more hit than Pearce.[citation needed] With the win, White became the second competitor, after Tanner Hall, to win a gold medal in the superpipe in consecutive years at the Winter X Games. He also won a gold medal in Slopestyle, finally winning gold after 2 straight years of bronze.

On February 14, 2009, White won the FIS World Cup Men's Halfpipe event at Vancouver's Cypress Mountain. Out of the gate in his first qualifying run, he qualified immediately with the day's best score of 45.5. With a thumb sprained on an over-rotated backside 1080 in the second qualifying run, he clinched the event with the first of his two runs in the finals. His first finals run was awarded the highest score ever in FIS halfpipe, a 47.3.

2010 Winter Olympics

At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, White again won gold in the halfpipe.[6] In the finals, White recorded a score of 46.8 on his first run, which proved a high enough score to secure the gold medal without a second run. He performed his second run anyway, as a victory lap, ending his run with a well-anticipated Double McTwist 1260 which he named The Tomahawk.[7] This second run resulted in a record score of 48.4 (50 is the highest possible score) enlarging his margin of victory. His nearest competitor won the silver with a points total of 45.0, 3.4 behind White.[8]


After a sub-par performance in the Slopestyle, failing to reach the finals, White "redeemed" himself in the Superpipe. With an 89, he sat in second place going into his 2nd of three runs. He completed the run, landing his infamous Double McTwist 1260 and finishing with a score of 97.33 to take the lead and claim the historical 4th straight Gold in the Winter X Games, held in Aspen Colorado. The score tied an X Games record which was set by White one year before. His 3rd run was a simple victory run featuring mostly straight air.[9]


At Winter X, White became the first person to score a perfect 100 in the men's Snowboard Superpipe in the history of Winter X Games.


White won his 6th consecutive SuperPipe victory, placing him as the second participant to ever achieve this, with SnoCross racer Tucker Hibbert achieving his 6th consecutive victory earlier in the same day.[10]

In December 2013, he won the third place in the Pipe & Slope contest at the FIS Snowboard World Cup in Copper Mountain, Colorado.[11]

2014 Winter Olympics

White finished fourth at the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Halfpipe event.

During the winter games, he was the most talked about Olympic athlete on Facebook.[12]

Athletic achievements

  • In 2003, White was the first to compete and medal in both the Summer and Winter X Games in two different sports.
  • White is the first snowboarder ever to land back to back double corks, at the Red Bull superpipe.
  • He remains the only skater to land the frontside heelflip 540 body varial. (The Armadillo).[13]
  • He was the first to land a Cab 7 Melon Grab in vert skateboarding.
  • He is the first snowboarder to win back-to-back gold medals in the Winter X-Games Superpipe.
  • He is also the first athlete ever (on snowboard or skis) to win gold medals four years in a row in the Winter X-Games Superpipe.
  • He is the first (and only) person to win both a Summer and Winter Dew Cup.[14]
  • White was the first to "three-peat" in SuperPipe at the Winter X Games.
  • Shaun White holds the record for the highest score in the men's halfpipe at the Winter Olympics. In 2006, his 46.8 points bested Ross Powers' previous record of 46.1 from 2002. In 2010, during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, he improved his own record with 48.4 points in his final run.

Non-competition awards and accolades


White has had a sponsor since he was seven years old. White signed CAA Sports for representation after working with IMG for eight years.[18] Corporate endorsement deals include or have included Burton Snowboards, Oakley, Inc., Birdhouse Skateboards, Park City Mountain Resort, Target Corporation, Red Bull, Ubisoft, Adio and Hewlett-Packard. White also has his own character on the game Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder as well as the video games Shaun White Snowboarding and Shaun White Skateboarding. In 2009, Forbes magazine estimated that he had earned $9 million from his endorsements in 2008.[19]

Acting career

White has made cameo appearance as himself in the 2011 film Friends with Benefits, the 2013 episode "Da Flippity Flop" of the animated TV series American Dad!, and the 2014 Disney Channel Original Movie Cloud 9.

In a 2007 interview with Outside magazine, White stated that he had turned down numerous film roles in which "the first lines [for his character] are always "What up, brah?'".[20]

Music career

White plays guitar in the electronic rock band Bad Things, which also features former Augustana bassist Jared Palomar.[21] The band played in one of the four Saturday headlining slots at the 2013 Lollapalooza festival, as a last minute replacement for Death Grips.[21] Their self-titled debut album was released in January 2014.

In October 2013, White appeared in the music video for "City of Angels" by Thirty Seconds to Mars.[22]

Media appearances

  • He had his first published interview in TransWorld SNOWboarding Magazine in 2003.[23]
  • White starred in the 2004 documentary The White Album and the 2005 snowboarding documentary First Descent.
  • In 2007, White appeared on the E! reality TV show "The Girls Next Door" as a snowboarding teacher for Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson.[24]
  • White was one of the few pro snowboarders to be a guest editor of Snowboarder Magazine (February 2008 issue).[25]
  • Shaun White has appeared in several video games and even had his own franchise
  • A film, Don't Look Down has been released on DVD and ESPN. The film tracks his journey through the year following his Olympic success.[26]
  • White was on the cover for The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition.[27]
  • White appeared as a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, March 2, 2010, recounting the story of how his mother had his first Olympic gold medal dry cleaned.[28]
  • White appeared on the January 16, 2011 episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to help redesign a room for an eight-year-old boy.[29]

Personal life

White has had the longstanding nickname "The Flying Tomato", due to his shock of red hair. In 2006, Rolling Stone wrote about the nickname, "he used to embrace it, even wearing headbands with a flying-tomato logo, but he has grown tired of it." He has also been nicknamed "animal", a reference to a character from The Muppet Show.[30][31]

In February 2009, Red Bull built White a halfpipe completely out of natural snow in the back country of Colorado on the backside of Silverton Mountain, coordinates (37.838801,-107.710299).

On September 17, 2012, White was arrested near a hotel in Nashville for public intoxication and vandalism after attending the drummer of The Black Keys, Patrick Carney, wedding party.[32]

See also


  1. ^ O'Shea, Sean. "Shaun White is set for more Olympic Gold in Canada". Retrieved June 13, 2011. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Official Site of Shaun White
  4. ^ "Shaun White Wins Gold Medal". February 12, 2006. Retrieved February 17, 2010. 
  5. ^ Sal Ruibal (February 12, 2006). "White a gold winner in halfpipe, Kass is second". USA Today. Retrieved February 17, 2010. 
  6. ^ "White defends men's halfpipe title". Associated Press. February 17, 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2010. 
  7. ^ John Branch (February 12, 2006). "White Takes Gold in Snowboard Halfpipe". The New York Times. Retrieved February 17, 2010. 
  8. ^ Kerby, Trey (February 17, 2010). "Shaun White proves he's still the best snowboarder in the world". Yahoo! Sports. Yahoo!. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  9. ^ "White wins first WX SuperPipe four-peat". Winter X Games. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Shaun White Clinches Sis-Peat". Winter X Games. January 27, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ "FIS Snowboard World Cup 2014 Results" (PDF). International Ski Federation. December 22, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  12. ^ "White is Most Chatted-About Olympic Athlete". 
  13. ^ "Shaun White Biography". A&E Television Networks. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  14. ^ Thomas, Pete (February 21, 2009). "Shaun White wins slopestyle Dew Cup". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  15. ^ All Headline News Archived June 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Best Snowboarders Of 2009: #9 Shaun White Snowboarder Magazine
  17. ^ "History Of The Riders’ Poll Awards". Transworld Snowboarding. January 25, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  18. ^ Lipari, Zachary (June 4, 2010). "On to the Next One: Shaun White". Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  19. ^ Badenhausen, Kurt (February 18, 2009). "The Highest-Paid Action Sports Stars". Forbes. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  20. ^ White vs. Hawk, Skate and Annoy, July 3, 2007
  21. ^ a b Browne, Rembert. "Rembert Explains America: An Unlikely Lollapalooza With Shaun White and His Band, Bad Things". Grantland. Retrieved August 8, 2013. 
  22. ^ Schillaci, Sophie (October 29, 2013). "Kanye West, Selena Gomez Among Artists in 30 Seconds to Mars' 'City of Angels'". Billboard. Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  23. ^ "The Shaun White Interview". Transworld Snowboarding. October 7, 2003. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Playboy Girls Ride With Shaun White". Snowboard Magazine. Storm Mountain Corp. Retrieved February 8, 2007. 
  25. ^ "Snowboarder Magazine February 2008 Volume 20.7 Shaun White Guest Editor Issue". Snowboarder Magazine. Source Interlink Media. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  26. ^ shaun white snowboarding documentary released today – January 6, 2009
  27. ^ Wallechinsky, David; Loucky, Jaime (October 2009). The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition. Aurum Press. ISBN 978-1-84513-491-4. 
  28. ^ "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno". The Tonight Show with Jay Leno – NBC Official Site. NBC Universal. Retrieved March 2, 2010. 
  29. ^ "Simpson Family". Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  30. ^ Stevens, Hampton (January 30, 2010). "Shaun White reveals his new nickname". ESPN. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  31. ^ Edwards, Gavin. "Shaun White: Attack of the Flying Tomato". Rolling Stone. RealNetworks, Inc. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  32. ^ O'Neil, Devon (September 17, 2012). "X Games star Shawn White charged with vandalism at hotel". Retrieved September 17, 2012. 

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
United States Dave Mirra
United States Travis Pastrana
Best Male Action Sports Athlete ESPY Award
Succeeded by
United States Travis Pastrana
United States Nyjah Huston