By Valentina Diaz
V. Diaz, a journalist and passionate skateboarder is a full-time writer for SHIT®️ Magazine.
Shaun Roger White is a 3 time Olympic Gold Medalist in snowboarding, but he is also a professional skateboarder, musician and is the Air and Style's owner. He is 34 years old, during his career he has made history in Vertical, additionally, he has the most wins in X Games due to his achievements in both sports.
White is from the United States, he grew up close to San Diego, California. He was living by the beach far away from snowboarding, but it was thanks to his parents who took Shaun out to the San Bernardino Mountains where he could start his career. All his family used to go there every chance they had.
“My mom would put me, my brother, and sister in the car and we’d drive up and ride the mountain all day, or spend the weekend if we were really going to live it up,” he says on his website.
The San Bernardino Mountains are located in the mountain range of Southern California. It is characterized for being huge, rugged and cold. Its community has the privilege to see amazing landscapes every day, and likewise, to do different physical activities like snowboarding.
Shaun was into snowboarding for the first time when he was just a child, however, at the age of 7, and after he won some competitions and Tony Hawk recognized his talent, he got his first sponsorship by a snowboard manufacturer named Burton.
"I saw Shaun when he was a little kid, being in Big Bear snow morning like with a helmet that was as big as his head, he looked too small to even be snowboarding and I saw him approach the halfpipe and I was like 'all right I want to check out'", said Tony Hawk to X Games.
At that point, there weren't boards of his size, because he was so small, "so my mom called the local snowboard company she knew and they put us in touch with Burton Snowboards and I was sponsored at 7", Shaun added in his interview with Tony Robbins.
Even so, he never stopped skateboarding, and as he says he always skated as a way to refill his desire for snowboarding. He got to be a pro snowboarder when he was 13 and a pro skateboarder at 16. "I started at the top of the game and with skateboarding I had to start all the way at the bottom again, I was climbing my way up and I just did it" he added.
Shaun won his first gold medal with a 46,8 score, during the 2006 Winter Olympics that were held in Bardonecchia, Italy. For this season 24 nations participated.
In 2010, Shaun won the gold medal during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver with a 48 score in the Halfpipe modality. The event was held in Cypress Mountain, and there were almost 30 countries in the competition.
His last Olympics achievement was to win the gold medal in Halfpipe with almost 98 score, during the 2018 Winter Olympics that were held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. There were 15 modalities and 92 nations participating.
He loves to compete, it is something that has always characterized him, his desire to win and live of these sports that people used to say didn't have any future. "Shawn has been on top since 2005, he has been virtually unbeatable since 2006 in that way," said Todd Richards in a X Games interview.
Shaun began to compete in vertical when he was 16, in his first appearance he got sixth place. In 2006 he held 8th place, but it was in 2007 when he reached up and grabbed the first place with a 95.75 score.
After that achievement, Shaun White has always been on the podium but in 2011 he got his second gold medal, defending the first position against Pierre-Luc Gagnon and he did it with a 93 score over a 91.66 score for Gagnon.
In 2012 Shaun scored the first-ever 100.00 in SuperPipe at X Games. White has 15 gold medals which left him in the top list of the most wins of this world contest, accumulating 13 for snowboarding and two for skateboarding.
A Motivating Story
Even if we think that Shaun was born for this, he had to break through some circumstances that said the opposite. "I was supposed to be a very inactive sluggish child", he said during the interview with Tony Robbins.
When he was a baby, he had asthma and was born with a heart defect "I had to have multiple surgeries to correct it, so it's called a blue baby, you're not getting enough oxygen into your bloodstream" White said to Robbins.
Above those health limitations, Shaun's parents never set any boundaries on him; moreover, he always was supported by his family for things he wanted to do to help him compete, like travel 3 hours to do snowboarding and achieve all this history in his 34 years.
He was judged for his health condition, which put a lot of pressure on him but that also motivated him too. "No one really respected us or believed in us so not only did I want to win, but I wanted to prove to all these people that I was something", said White at X-Games interview.
Undoubtedly, Shaun made history, this month is his 34 year birthday and until now he has had so much to talk about and to continue living, he lives without boundaries because maybe he had to confront them when he was a baby and each day serves us by continuing to prove himself, showing that he can and he always could.
Read also: Zoe Williams Learned How to Skate In Her 40s