Shaun White, the legendary snowboarder, has decided to withdraw from the Olympic competition after the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. White issued a lengthy statement on Friday, stating that he had “slid down the half pipe for the final time at the Olympics.” “I’m just as emotional typing this now as I was last Friday,” he said. “It makes me happy tears.”
It’s been an emotional rollercoaster, and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. “Completing this chapter of my life has made me grateful for the 22 years I’ve spent as a professional snowboarder.” White acknowledged the late Jake Burton, one of the modern snowboard’s founders, as well as his family. “I’d want to express my gratitude to Jake Burton and the Carpenter family for their unwavering support over the years.
Jake changed the game forever. At the age of seven, he gave me my first snowboard and my first sponsorship… I wish he had been at the bottom of the half pipe in Beijing, as he had been at every previous Olympics. My friend, I miss you dearly. He added, “Thank you.” “I’d like to express my gratitude to my colleagues.
JJ Thomas, my coach, Esther Lee, my physical therapist, Kenny Kunalt, my broad technician, Kenny Kunalt, and my trainer, Jason Walsh, are just a few of the people I work with. Without each and every one of you, I couldn’t have done it.
Long hours of mental and physical preparation, as well as support, led me to where I am now. At the age of 35, she is still competing in the Olympics. It takes a village, and I’ve been really fortunate to have been surrounded by such lovely and brilliant people throughout the years. “Thank you to my parents, Cathy and Roger, as well as my sister Kari and Brother Jesse, who have always believed in me.
We all had a passion for the game, which provided us with countless unforgettable moments. They will always hold a special place in my heart. The 5 of us living in the family van, traveling to the mountains early in the mornings, always trying to outdo each other on the slopes. Your direction, patience, love (and s—t talking) are the reasons I am who I am and where I am.
“I’m in love with you.” Tony Hawk, the famed pro skateboarder, was also thanked by White. “Tony Hawk, I appreciate it. You were my role model at such a young age, and I’m grateful to be able to call you a good friend so many years later. I’m not sure you’ll ever realize how much of a beneficial influence you had on my life.
When it wasn’t cool to have an 8-year-old pimple-faced redhead kid around, Tony showed me the ropes… (And took me under his wing). White concluded by adding that this isn’t necessarily the end for him.
“My first love was snowboarding. It was intoxicating, just like any new relationship. Snowboarding provided me a rush, made me feel invincible and brought adventure into my life. It gave me with a sense of purpose and allowed me to express myself creatively.
I’ve always been a competitive competitor with a lot of passion. Of course, I’ll miss snowboarding professionally, but don’t expect to see (myself) cruising down the mountain any time soon. “I’m very proud of the last two decades of victories, defeats, ups and downs, blood, sweat, tears, and everything in between because they’ve shaped who I am today.”
I’m incredibly humbled and grateful for this incredible adventure. It has been an honour and a privilege to work with you. This has been the most thrilling ride of my life! ‘Retirement’ may sound like the end, but it’s only the beginning for me.
“The future looks bright…” White had been a member of the Olympic team since the 2006 Torino Games. He earned three gold medals in the half pipe sport, the last of which he won in the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.