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Shaun White
Shaun White in 2018 181222-D-PB383-014 (46423162561) (cropped).jpg
White in 2018
Personal information
Full name Shaun Roger White
Born September 3, 1986 (1986-09-03) (age 34)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Height 5 ft 8 in
Weight 154 lb
Country  United States
Sport Snowboarding, Skateboarding

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

Early life

White was born in San Diego, California. His ancestry includes Irish and Italian. 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. 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 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

See also: 2006 Winter Olympics

At the 2006 Winter Olympics, White won gold in the half-pipe. 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.


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.


White with Richard Branson in 2009

There was a lot of controversy over who won the 2009 SuperPipe at Winter X Games XIII. 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. 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. 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

See also: 2010 Winter Olympics

At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, White again won gold in the halfpipe. 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. 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.


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.


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.

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

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.

2018 Winter Olympics

Shaun White 27913015 (cropped)
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. Despite the accident, White qualified for the 2018 US Olympic Team. 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. His gold medal was also the 100th for the United States at the Winter Olympic Games.

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).
  • 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.
  • 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 was named the "Chairman of the Board" on the Spike TV Guys' Choice Awards on June 13, 2007 and again on June 19, 2010.
  • In the March 2009 issue of Snowboarder Magazine, he was named the ninth-best snowboarder in the World.
  • He won the Revolver Golden Gods Award for "Most Metal Athlete".
  • White has been named Transworld Snowboarding's Rider Of The Year twice.


White has had a sponsor since he was seven years old. White signed CAA Sports for representation after working with IMG for eight years. 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 Shaun White Snowboarding and Shaun White Skateboarding. In 2009, Forbes magazine estimated that he had earned $9 million from his endorsements in 2008.

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?'".

Music career

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

Media appearances

  • He had his first published interview in TransWorld SNOWboarding Magazine in 2003.
  • 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.
  • White was one of the few pro snowboarders to be a guest editor of Snowboarder Magazine (February 2008 issue).
  • Shaun White has appeared in several video games and even had his own franchise
    • Appeared in 1999’s Cool Boarders 4
    • He appeared in Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder in 2001
    • Shaun White Snowboarding was released in 2008
    • A sequel, Shaun White Snowboarding: World Stage, was released in 2009
    • A skateboarding game, Shaun White Skateboarding, was released in 2010
  • 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.
  • White was on the cover of The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition.
  • White appeared as a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on March 2, 2010, recounting the story of how his mother had his first Olympic gold medal dry cleaned.
  • White appeared on the January 16, 2011, episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to help redesign a room for an eight-year-old boy.
  • White appeared in the Nickelodeon TV Series Henry Danger in 2018 in the episode Toon in for Danger. In the episode White and Captain Man were struggling for a seat while Watching the premiere of The Adventures of Kid Danger.
  • White has a chapter giving advice in Tim Ferriss' book Tools of Titans.

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.

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).

He was dating Sarah Barthel of the band Phantogram since 2013 till the end of 2019.

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