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Shaun White

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Shaun White
Shaun White in 2018 181222-D-PB383-014 (46423162561) (cropped).jpg
White in 2018
Personal information
Full nameShaun Roger White
Born (1986-09-03) September 3, 1986 (age 34)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Height5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight154 lb (70 kg)
Country United States
SportSnowboarding, Skateboarding

Shaun Roger White (born September 3, 1986) is an American professional snowboarder, skateboarder, and musician. He is a three-time Olympic gold medalist in half-pipe snowboarding (2006, 2010, and 2018), and holds the world record for the most X-Games gold medals and most Olympic gold medals by a snowboarder. He has also won 10 ESPY Awards throughout his career in various categories.

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] 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 White 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 Jesse White's[4] footsteps, White switched from skiing to snowboarding at age six, and by age seven, he received his first sponsorship. White has participated in four Winter Olympics in his career. At the 2006, 2010, and 2018 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.[5] 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.[6]


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 video game 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, White 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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]


After a sub-par performance in the Slopestyle and 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.[10]


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


White won his 6th consecutive SuperPipe victory, making him the second participant ever to achieve this, with SnoCross racer Tucker Hibbert achieving his 6th consecutive victory earlier in the same day.[11]

In December 2013, he won the third place in the Pipe & Slope contest at the FIS Snowboard World Cup in Copper Mountain, Colorado.[12]

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.[13]

2018 Winter Olympics

White after medalling at the 2018 Winter Olympics

While in New Zealand, training for the 2018 Winter Olympics, White crashed into the edge of a superpipe; the resulting injuries to his face required 62 stitches.[14][15] Despite the accident, White qualified for the 2018 US Olympic Team.[16] On February 14, he won his third Olympic gold medal for the Men's Halfpipe event with a score of 97.75, with Ayumu Hirano of Japan taking the silver medal and Scott James of Australia taking the bronze. White was trailing Hirano by one full point coming into his last run with a score of 94.25. Despite this, White dramatically won the gold medal with back-to-back 1440s.[17] His gold medal was also the 100th for the United States at the Winter Olympic Games.[18]

Athletic achievements

  • White was the first to compete and medal in both the Summer and Winter X Games.
  • 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).[19]
  • He was the first to land a Cab 7 Melon Grab in vert skateboarding.[20]
  • 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.[21]
  • 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 2018, he scored 97.75 on his last 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.[25] Corporate endorsement deals include or have included Burton Snowboards, Oakley, Inc., Birdhouse Skateboards, Park City Mountain Resort, Target Corporation, Red Bull, Ubisoft, Adio, Hewlett-Packard, and American Express. White also has his own character on the game Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder, as well as the video games ‘’Cool Boarders 4’’, Shaun White Snowboarding and Shaun White Skateboarding. In 2009, Forbes magazine estimated that he had earned $9 million from his endorsements in 2008.[26]

Acting career

White has made cameo appearances 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?'".[27]

Music career

White plays guitar in the electronic rock band Bad Things, which also features former Augustana bassist Jared Palomar.[28] The band played in one of the four Saturday headlining slots at the 2013 Lollapalooza festival, as a last-minute replacement for Death Grips.[28] 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.[29]

Media appearances

Personal life

White has had the longstanding nickname "The Flying Tomato", due to his red hair. In 2006, Rolling Stone wrote about the nickname, saying, "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.[37][38]

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 wedding party of the drummer of The Black Keys, Patrick Carney.[39]

He was dating Sarah Barthel of the band Phantogram[40] since 2013[41] till the end of 2019.[citation needed]

In 2016, Bad Things drummer Lena Zawaideh brought a lawsuit against White, claiming sexual harassment and breach of contract.[42] White and Zawaideh reached an out-of-court settlement in May 2017; the terms of the settlement were not disclosed.[43] At a press conference following White's win at the 2018 Winter Olympics, he was asked if he was concerned that the lawsuit and settlement would tarnish his image. In replying, he referred to the incident as gossip, a response that created widespread condemnation of White for minimizing sexual harassment. White later apologized for his choice of words.[44][45]

See also


  1. ^ O'Shea, Sean. "Shaun White is set for more Olympic Gold in Canada". Retrieved June 13, 2011.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 12, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Official Site of Shaun White
  4. ^ Tschorn, Adam (August 19, 2016). "Olympian Shaun White's new clothing line reflects a grown-up version of the athlete's aesthetic".
  5. ^ "Shaun White Wins Gold Medal". February 12, 2006. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
  6. ^ Sal Ruibal (February 12, 2006). "White a gold winner in halfpipe, Kass is second". USA Today. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
  7. ^ "White defends men's halfpipe title". Associated Press. February 17, 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
  8. ^ John Branch (February 12, 2006). "White Takes Gold in Snowboard Halfpipe". The New York Times. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
  9. ^ Kerby, Trey (February 17, 2010). "Shaun White proves he's still the best snowboarder in the world". Yahoo! Sports. Yahoo!. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  10. ^ "White wins first WX SuperPipe four-peat". Winter X Games. Retrieved January 30, 2011.
  11. ^ "Shaun White Clinches Sis-Peat". Winter X Games. January 27, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  12. ^ "FIS Snowboard World Cup 2014 Results" (PDF). International Ski Federation. December 22, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  13. ^ "White is most chatted-about Olympic athlete". Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  14. ^ "Video shows Shaun White's gruesome crash that resulted in 62 stitches". USA TODAY. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  15. ^ "Details emerge about Shaun White's horrific slam that nearly cost him Olympics". Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  16. ^ "Shaun White Scores Perfect 100, Makes Olympic Team With Youth Olympic Champs Jake Pates, Ben Ferguson". Team USA. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  17. ^ Mather, Victor. "Sean White Reclaims His Golden Halfpipe Throne". New York Times. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  18. ^ Passan, Jeff. "Shaun White delivers dramatic finish to win third Olympic goal medal in halfpipe".
  19. ^ "Shaun White Biography". A&E Television Networks. Archived from the original on February 27, 2010. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  20. ^ McCann, Michelle Roehm (2012). Boys Who Rocked the World: Heroes from King Tut to Bruce Lee. Simon and Schuster. p. 222. ISBN 9781582703312. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  21. ^ Thomas, Pete (February 21, 2009). "Shaun White wins slopestyle Dew Cup". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  22. ^ All Headline News Archived June 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Best Snowboarders Of 2009: #9 Shaun White Archived April 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Snowboarder Magazine
  24. ^ "History Of The Riders' Poll Awards". Transworld Snowboarding. January 25, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  25. ^ Lipari, Zachary (June 4, 2010). "On to the Next One: Shaun White". Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  26. ^ Badenhausen, Kurt (February 18, 2009). "The Highest-Paid Action Sports Stars". Forbes. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  27. ^ White vs. Hawk, Skate and Annoy, July 3, 2007
  28. ^ a b Browne, Rembert. "Rembert Explains America: An Unlikely Lollapalooza With Shaun White and His Band, Bad Things". Grantland. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
  29. ^ Schillaci, Sophie (October 29, 2013). "Kanye West, Selena Gomez Among Artists in 30 Seconds to Mars' 'City of Angels'". Billboard. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  30. ^ "The Shaun White Interview". Transworld Snowboarding. October 7, 2003. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  31. ^ "Playboy Girls Ride With Shaun White". Snowboard Magazine. Storm Mountain Corp. Archived from the original on February 20, 2007. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
  32. ^ "Snowboarder Magazine February 2008 Volume 20.7 Shaun White Guest Editor Issue". Snowboarder Magazine. Source Interlink Media. Archived from the original on March 4, 2010. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  33. ^ "Shaun White Snowboarding Documentary released today on DVD!". Michael Johns Online. January 6, 2009. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  34. ^ Wallechinsky, David; Loucky, Jaime (October 2009). The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition. Aurum Press. ISBN 978-1-84513-491-4.
  35. ^ "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno". The Tonight Show with Jay Leno – NBC Official Site. NBC Universal. Retrieved March 2, 2010.
  36. ^ "Simpson Family". Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  37. ^ Stevens, Hampton (January 30, 2010). "Shaun White reveals his new nickname". ESPN. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  38. ^ Edwards, Gavin. "Shaun White: Attack of the Flying Tomato". Rolling Stone. RealNetworks, Inc. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  39. ^ O'Neil, Devon (September 17, 2012). "X Games star Shawn White charged with vandalism at hotel". Retrieved September 17, 2012.
  40. ^ Aswad, Jem (February 9, 2018). "Olympic Snowboarder Shaun White Reveals His Good-Luck Songs". Variety. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  41. ^ Rouff, Lily (January 16, 2018). "These Photos Of Shaun White & Sarah Barthel Will Make You Swoon So Hard For Them". Elite Daily. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  42. ^ Stutz, Colin (August 16, 2016). "Shaun White Sued by Ex-Bad Things Drummer for Sexual Harassment". Billboard. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  43. ^ Schrotenboer, Brent (May 16, 2017). "Shaun White settlement reached in female drummer's lawsuit". USA Today. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  44. ^ Mitchell, Robert (February 14, 2018). "Shaun White Apologizes for Referring to Sexual Harassment Allegations as 'Gossip'". Variety. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  45. ^ Seiner, Jake (February 14, 2018). "Shaun White sorry for 'poor choice of words' after referring to sexual misconduct lawsuit as 'gossip'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 27, 2021.

External links