He’s the Flying Tomato! Meet Shaun White

December 18, 2014 • FitnessInspiration

The Life and Career of Olympic Snowboarder, Shaun White

Known as “The Flying Tomato”, Olympian Shaun White has soared through the air and nabbed numerous gold medals thanks to his incredible athletic talent, both snowboarding and skateboarding.

Early Life

Shaun White was born September 3rd, 1986 in San Diego, California. As a child, he underwent two heart surgeries to correct a defect that caused un-oxygenated blood to pump through his veins. Who would have thought he will become such a mega- athlete ?

After recovering, White started engaging in surfing and skateboarding. Come wintertime, he and his siblings were skiing in the mountains.
At age of six, his mother got him a snowboard, since she decided snowboarding was less dangerous than skiing. She also insisted he ride backwards so he’d be slower.
Apparently, practicing switch this early, helped him become more proficient later.
Shaun white was a natural, although he also suffered from broken bones and a fractured skull injuries.

Excelling in an early age

By age seven, White started winning competitions and already got his first sponsor. He amazed with his ability to make the sport look effortless when the pressure was on.

He excelled in skateboarding too and was taut by Skateboarding legend, Tony Hawk.
He started skateboarding professionally, with help from his mentor Hawk, and excelled thanks to his practice on the slopes.


In 2000, when White was only 14, he competed with athletes much older than himself and took part in his first X-Games.
Right after, he started prepping for his first Olympic showing. Unfortunately, he failed to qualify for the 2002 U.S. Olympic team, only by three-tenths of a point!

This just made him work harder and in the 2003 X-Games, he showed his impressive performances in the Slopestyle and SuperPipe events and was named the X-Games’ best athlete!
Not only that, Shaun White also became the first person to participate in both the summer and the winter X-Games that year, which cemented his status as an extreme sports star.

First Gold Medal

Shaun White was finally ready for the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics after winning another Winter X-Games gold: He squeaked through to the Finals in the halfpipe event and used his last run to prove he was the true master of the 1080. This impressive sequence won him his first gold medal, and made him the face of the U.S. Olympic team.

Second Gold Medal

In the Finals of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic, Shaun White landed a Double McTwist 1260 for a score of 48.4 out of 50 to become the first man to win consecutive golds in the halfpipe.

Perfect Score at the X-Games

In 2012 he earned a perfect score in the X-Games’ men’s SuperPipe, for his fifth consecutive win in that event.


Shaun White helped transform snowboarding from a fringe sport to a wildly popular Olympic event.
With his wild red hair, quirky qualities and millions of dollars in endorsement deals, there’s no doubt Shaun White will remain king of the slopes and extreme sports for years.

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