4:18 AM ET
Tom HamiltonSenior Writer
- • Joined ESPN in 2011
• Covered two Olympics, a pair of Rugby World Cups and two British & Irish Lions tours
• Previously rugby editor, and became senior writer in 2018
Snowboard great Shaun White has confirmed he will retire after Beijing 2022.
White, 35, won his first halfpipe gold at Turin 2006 and also took gold at Vancouver 2010 and PyeongChang 2018. This is his fifth Olympics, but he confirmed at a news conference Saturday this will be his final Games.
“This has all had its amazing glow as I’ve decided this will be my last Olympics,” White said. “I’ve given it my all, there have been some ups and downs on the way to get here. And with that I feel I’ve got stronger and better.
“I’m just so excited about everything. Opening ceremony was incredible. The venue looks incredible. I’m just enjoying every single moment.”
White added this will likely be his last competition as he usually takes the season off after an Olympic Games.
“After the Olympics I don’t compete much after the Games as there’s so much pressure weighing on you and that relief is warranted,” White said. “I usually take the season off to get excited again, but this will be my last competition.”
He said he’s been dealing with ankle, knee and back issues and they were “little signs” which brought him to “this conclusion” at the end of 2021.
“They were taking away from days in practice, and I was watching the tricks getting heavier and heavier. I was riding down from the halfpipe in Austria, and I got lost, and I had to take this chair back up. And on that chairlift ride, the mountain was closing and I was on my own and I was watching the sun go down, and it hit me: this is it. It was a surreal moment, but very joyous as I watched the sun go down and reflected.”
White said he was feeling “pretty confident” about his prospects at Beijing 2022 and said while he will be reminiscing about old times, he’s still going to be “incredibly competitive” at these Olympics.
White, nicknamed “the Flying Tomato,” will begin his practice on Sunday in Beijing ahead of competing in the halfpipe where qualification starts on Wednesday, Feb. 9 at the Games.
White also has a remarkable 18 individual Winter X Games medals. When asked what legacy he hopes to leave behind in the sport, he said: “I hope my riding speaks for itself, I’m always trying to push and progress and do the next biggest thing and pick up on what trends are happening in the sport and get ahead of that curve.”