Shaun White, San Diego, “The Flying Tomato,” is world re-known as a snowboarder and is the inspiration for millions of young people around the world to take up winter sports. Yet his success has come after overcoming a congenital heart defect, where he survived two open heart surgeries by the age of 1.
He is best known for taking the winter Olympics by storm in 2006, when he won the gold medal in the snowboard halfpipe. He then also won the gold medal in the same event in 2010 and 2018. White has also participated in the Winter X Games, where he has won a medal every year since 2002. Including all winter X Games competitions through 2013, his medal count stands at 18 (13 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze), among which is the first quadruple win streak by a male athlete in one discipline, the snowboard slopestyle.
White’s dynamic performances and charismatic personality has made him the hero of a generation. White also has his own character in the video game Shaun Palmer’s Pro Snowboarder, as well as the video games Shaun White Snowboarding and Shaun White Skateboarding. In recent years, he cut short his famous long, flowing red locks, saying it had become a stereotype. A famous quote: “Some people attach snowboards to their feet. Very few attach them to their souls.”