5 Reasons Why Shaun White Is Still The Greatest Snowboarder Ever
Shaun White: Still The Best Despite Poor Sochi Olympics Performance
In the biggest surprise of the Sochi Olympics, Shaun White did not medal in the halfpipe competition which he was supposed to dominate after winning gold at both the 2006 and 2010 Olympics. During the final round of the halfpipe competition, the snowboarding icon looked out of sorts as he fell on his first two runs and clearly succumbed various injuries that have nagged him all season. This left him unable to come up with even one dominant run and cemented a career-worst year.
There is little doubt that White still has time left in his snowboarding career. At the age of 27, he will not be giving up quite yet, but the current season will surely go down as a career worst for the Flying Tomato. For the first time since 2002, he will not take home a medal from either the X Games or Olympics, which is a run of dominance that only the likes of Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Roger Federer can even begin to rival in other sports.
Dominance does have to come to an end eventually, however, and those watching the halfpipe event in Sochi saw that the torch is beginning to be passed to medalists Iouri Podladtchikov, Ayumu Hirano and Taku Hiraoka. White may yet come back to win gold medals, but after watching his body break down throughout the current season, it is becoming obvious that the perils of flying 20 feet in the air with every jump is beginning to catch up to him.
Keeping in mind that White could be facing his decline, I have become a bit sentimental on just how dominant and amazing his career has been. Instead of just sulking to myself about the Flying Tomato not winning a third consecutive halfpipe gold medal at the Olympics, I have formed a list of five reasons why he is, and will always be the greatest snowboarder of all time.
5. Trick Innovation
Shaun White has continuously raised the bar throughout his career by coming up with new tricks that nobody ever thought were possible. Amongst the tricks that White has come up with are the triple cork, Double McTwist 1260, switch backside 900 and cab double cork 10. Each of these tricks have expanded upon previous tricks, and set a bar to be upped both by current snowboarders and future generations.
4. Prolonged X Games Dominance
The X Games is currently the most watched and discussed competition for winter sports outside of the Olympics, and Shaun White has dominated the games like no other. The Flying Tomato's 12 gold, three silver and two bronze medals at the Winter X Games gives him seven more than second-place Tanner Hall. Simply put, White is the best snowboarder in the sport's most important annual competition, and he has taken the competition from a novelty act to must-watch television along the way.
3. Olympic Prowess
Although he did not win the gold medal in the halfpipe this year, Shaun White did win it in 2006 and 2010 and dominated both competitions. These two wins make White the winner of two out of four halfpipe competitions at the Olympics, and his unveiling of the Double McTwist 1260 in 2010 helped to raise the sport's popularity a great deal.
2. Consistency On and Off the Slopes
Shaun White has been the most dominant athlete in winter sports for the last 10 years. He has won a medal at every X Games since 2003, and won gold at both the 2006 and 2010 Olympics. This level of consistency is only matched by White's demeanor and actions off the snow as he has been a role model in his personal life, and used his fame to help out people in need through philanthropic works.
1. Revolutionizing the Profile of Snowboarding Worldwide
Shaun White's rise as pop icon has resulted in endorsements with Target, Red Bull and many others, in addition to him being the face of a video game, and also appearing in television shows and movies. While some of his fellow snowboarders may think this is lame, doing these things have played a huge role in making the 27-year-old the single most important snowboarder ever and raised the sport's image as a whole.