Shaun White will compete in his fifth and final Winter Olympics early next year, the snowboard icon told the TODAY Show on Wednesday.
White, 35, has yet to qualify for the competition with a third of the four qualifying events held this week in Colorado. He would become the oldest male halfpipe competitor in Olympic history.
“Well, I didn’t really say that too much, so it’s going to be weird to come out of my mouth, but this is my last run,” White said TODAY reporter Craig Melvin in an excerpt from a larger article.
Melvin asked if “whatever” the Beijing Games would be his last and White replied, “I think so, yes.”
White people call for the last Olympics
White has been the face of men’s snowboarding since he first appeared on the Winter X Games scene in the early 2000s. He has been a staple in the sport since his first Olympic qualification 20 years ago when he was 15 years old.
“It’s hard to talk about it, you know? White said TODAY. “Because all of my life I’ve kind of been considered a little superhuman because I do these things. And a lot of people have always come to me and just [been] like, ‘I don’t know how he does it.’ And I am proud to be that individual. And man, realizing and admitting to myself and everyone, ‘Yeah, I’m human.’ It has taken its toll. “
Snowboarding made its Olympic debut at the Nagano Games in 1998, and White, known as “The Flying Tomato”, has been its icon for most of the time. His three gold medals are the most by a snowboarder in history.
White missed the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City by a place in the final qualifying event. At 19, he won gold in the men’s halfpipe at the 2006 Turin Games, his first Olympic competition. He added gold at Vancouver 2010 and PyeongChang 2018. He also competed in the Sochi 2014 games, finishing fourth.
Earlier this year, White teased a run at the 2026 Olympics in Italy in a conversation with the Associated Press. It looks like it could be an icon rather than a competitor.
White aims to qualify for the Olympics
The snowboarding sensation and 13-time X-Games gold medalist has yet to qualify for the Olympics for a final.
White finished eighth in the first competition of the winter Olympic season at the United States Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colo. this past weekend. It was the second competition after his three-year absence after gold at the 2018 Games. White was fourth overall in the opening qualifying game in March, but the first of all Americans.
The two best American men and women in the world half-pipe ranking, as long as they are in the top six, as of December 22, they qualify for the Olympics. If this does not apply, the riders with the best podium among the four qualifying events are chosen. This continues until there are three women and three men on the team. Discretionary selection may result in more runners, although neither gender may exceed four.
the top ranked american man in halfpipe ranking is Taylor Gold in ninth place. White is ranked 33rd after entering the competition at 70th overall due to his lack of competitions.
There are two qualifying rounds left. The first is the Dew Tour at Copper Mountain and the second in California next month.