It's hard to describe the world's famous snowboarder. But to put it in nutshells: this rider is the icon of a sport, the rider who had possibly the most influence on a sport which progressed in the last years like a rocket launched to outer space.
It all began in 1986 when Shaun Roger White was born in San Diego, California. And the first months on earth didn't seem to be the ones of a super star decorated with X-Gmes Gold in skateboarding and snowboarding both won in the 2003, plus the Olympic Halfpipe Gold medal in 2006 and 2010 everyone expected him to bring home.
Before he was one year old, White endured two major surgeries to correct a heart defect.
Thereafter, the growing youngster quickly charged into surfing and snowboarding.
He took his first snow turns aged six when his mom Cathy had decided to put him on a snowboard in order to slow him down as Shaun had been racing down the slopes with his older brother Jesse on skis prety fast before.
However, that move didn't slow him down.
The seven years-old kid entered his first ever amateur competition, won and earned a wildcard for the nationals which he finished just outside the top-10.
After his mom had send a homemade video to Burton just as the brand was developing a kid-sized snowboard line, he got the company interested in him and became a pro at 13.
Ever since, an outstanding career started in which Shaun White became a role model for freestyle snowboarding not only making him the most successful rider of the last decade although he had missed the 2002 US Olympic rooster by only three tenths of a point.
He also pushed - and still does - the scene to the limits by inventing new tricks in the halfpipe like the back-to-back double cork 1080's or by revealing the double mctwist 1260 in an online video filmed in his private $ 500,000 halfpipe built by one of his sponsors in the Rocky Mountains - only about a month before the 2010 Olympics.
This also is the best proof for him having a nose for promoting himself. He has signed several major deals with worldwide operating brands; he has his own signature outerwear line which has been expanded since 2003 into gloves, boots, boards and bags as well as into women outerwear.
The leader of a deep US team who has more than 32,500,000 hits when searching the web for the redheaded athlete stars his own video game and impressed with covers on Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone in the same week.
The young face of numerous advertising campaigns once said: "I'm not the underdog anymore. I have the pressure that everyone expects something outstanding. Everyone expects me to do the best." And so the world will at the 2014 Sochi Games. Just like in 2006 and 2010, once again, nothing more than Gold, in both halfpipe and slopestyle.
In order to be best-prepared for this, White and his sponsors once again built a private pipe worth some $ 500,000 in the Australian ski resort Perisher - this time, it didn't pay off... White placed fourth. But you never know what he might come up with over the next couple of years. It's pretty likely that he gives it another shot in 2022 in South Korea.
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