- 18 January 2014 | Surfing
Shaun White has been confirmed in two snowboarding events, at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, in Russia. The famous snow rider is also a regular surfer, but when he was only seven, a frightening wipeout almost changed everything.
Snowboarding is gaining momentum. Unlike surfing, the winter board sport has been building its own space in the Olympic movement. In the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, snowboarders will compete in five events: parallel giant slalom, parallel slalom, snowboard cross, half-pipe and slopestyle.
Shaun White, 27, is perhaps one of the most popular snowboarders in the world. He stole two Olympic gold medals, and the X-Games record for gold medals and highest overall medal count.
His impressive career has always had a dual path. Skateboarding pushed snowboarding, and vice-versa. With the helping hand of Tony Hawk, White's outstanding skills in the board sports arena never stopped collecting titles, awards and accolades.
The mountain man, the challenger of the snowy slopes, the "Flying Tomato" has a special interest in surfing. After buying a $3.85 million dream house in Encinitas, California, Shaun White is sometimes spotted duck diving his long red hair under the local white waters.
Interestingly, Shaun White was supposed to be a pro surfer. He's named Shaun after the South African surfing legend Shaun Tomson. White's father wanted him to be a surfer, but a frightening experience, when he was only 7, kept him out of the waves.
"The day I actually first surfed. My dad got me a hard board and I'll never forget because it had the Tasmanian devil on the front", reveals White.
"They sent me down a giant wave, and I just got tumbled immediately; came up for air, couldn't get it, tumbled again, got tumbled, swirled again. I came up, finally got air, and right as I did the board hit me in the face".
"I'm bleeding, and I'm sitting there like, 'I hate you. I'm never doing this again. This isn’t going down anymore".
Although his wave riding talent is not enough for a future pro surfing career, the truth is Shaun White has influenced surfing and surfers with his snowboarding/skateboarding creativity.
Back to back double corks (snowboarding), frontside heelflip 540 body varial, and a cab 7 melon grab (skateboarding) are a few examples of how the San Diego extreme sportsman has been pushing surfers to the new frontiers.
Surfers will be taking notes of Shaun White's air assaults during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, between 7th-23rd February, in the Russian icy landscapes.