Shaun White's Final Olympic Ride
After his fifth Olympic appearance, Shaun White has decided to call it quits. The 35-year-old has led a storied career and will go down in snowboarding history as a pioneer of the sport. White is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and a five-time Olympian. He's a 20-time X Games medalist and the only athlete to ever score a perfect 100 in the superpipe. He also has five Summer X Games medals in skateboarding, becoming the first athlete to compete and medal in both the Summer and Winter X Games. He's spent the entirety of his career pushing the boundaries of the sport. Now it's time for him to pass the torch.
“Everyone was asking me what my legacy in this sport has been and I’m like, you’re watching it," exclaimed White. "These younger riders, I mean they’ve been on my heels every step of the way and to see them finally surpass me is, I think deep down what I always wanted you know. To be beaten, to finally walk away without feeling like I could have done this or.”
White finished fourth in his final Olympic run, a symbolic moment of legend morphing into legacy. Of course, he wanted one last medal and he wanted it to be gold. He wanted that "Kelly Slater pull into the barrel moment", in his own words.
"The best of us - Tom Brady, Mikaela (Shiffrin) - know it's hard to step into the spotlight and own it time and time again," he said. "To be at the top of the sport for so long, that's a true highlight of my career and that's the thing I'm going to hang my hat on."
White has been at the top for so long, but he knows it's time for the next adventure. He wants to have a family of his own, build his brand Whitespace, and support up-and-coming snowboarders in pursuing their own Olympic dreams.
"Shaun White has made an indelible mark on snowboarding, helping to put the sport on the map globally and advancing its popularity," said U.S. Ski & Snowboard CEO, Sophie Goldschmidt. "Winning three gold medals across five Olympics, Shaun is the ultimate competitor and set the standard for which snowboard athletes are measured. As he finishes his Olympic career, we celebrate Shaun as the most influential athlete in competitive snowboard history and an American sports icon. His legacy as a titan of snowboarding will forever inspire athletes and fans of the sport. We are proud of all his accomplishments and wish him the best of luck as he enters the next stage of his career."
His teammates, Taylor Gold and Chase Josey finished fifth and seventh. Gold medalist Ayumu Hirano topped out at 96 points, followed by Scotty James with silver. The next-gen of snowboarders are ready to step into the spotlight.
Men's halfpipe final