Shaun White is many things but most notably he's driven. He holds many of the highest accolades within snowboarding and skateboarding, and at 23, he's only getting started. An X Games double threat with medals in both snowboarding and skateboarding, as well as a gold medal from the 2006 Winter Olympics, Shaun White possesses insane skills and instantly recognizable looks. This amazing combination has made him one of the most recognizable sports figures of his time.
Born in San Diego, California in 1986, Shaun Roger White endured two major surgeries to correct a heart defect before he was a year old. Despite these conditions, the growing youngster proved that he was far from frail, charging into sports like surfing, soccer and snowboarding at a young age.
Shaun grew up in a family of five: Mom (Cathy), Dad (Roger), Sister (Kari) and Brother (Jesse). One of the family's favorite pastime included skiing. With no close mountain resorts, they would take weekend road trips up to local mountains. At the age of four, Shaun proved to be fearless on his skis as he raced down the slopes with older brother Jesse. At six, in an attempt to slow him down, Cathy decided to put him on a snowboard and instructed him to copy everything Jesse did. Shaun did just that, unfortunately for her, it only encouraged Shaun to go faster.
His parents supported Shaun's snowboarding ability and took him to the mountains as often as possible. At seven, Shaun entered his first amateur snowboard contest and won, earning him a wildcard entry into Nationals, where he placed just outside of the top 10. At that time, Cathy sent Burton a homemade video of Shaun just as the company was coincidentally developing a kid-sized snowboard line. Not surprisingly, they were impressed, and offered the seven-year-old a sponsorship deal. With the support of Burton, he turned pro at 13.
After winning five national titles as an amateur, Shaun captured his first major win as a pro in 2001 at the Arctic Challenge. He earned his first Winter X Games medal when he was 16, and between Slopestyle and Superpipe hasn't failed to stand on the Winter X podium since. Between skateboarding and snowboarding Shaun now holds 16 X Games medals, and a record 10 of them are gold.
While Shaun was being lauded as a snowboard prodigy, he was simultaneously turning heads on the skateboard scene. Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk befriended the nine-year-old at a local skatepark and mentored the up-and-comer, helping Shaun turn pro in skateboarding at the age of 17. In 2003 he became the first athlete ever to compete and medal in both the Summer and Winter X Games in two different sports. In 2007, Shaun set unparalleled standards by winning the overall title and prestigious honor of Action Sports Tour Champion thanks to his impressive skills in skateboarding vert.
One of Shaun's rare disappointments had been failing to make the 2002 Winter Olympic lineup; he narrowly missed earning a spot on the U.S. team by three tenths of a point. In the 2006 qualifiers for Torino, however, he took no prisoners. Shaun went undefeated with 12 victories that season, becoming the first athlete ever to sweep the five-event U.S. Grand Prix series, which serves as the Olympic qualifiers. His come-from-behind gold medal win in Halfpipe was compelling enough, but his unscripted wit and casual charisma with the media and fans sealed the deal: Shaun White was now a household name.
At 23, Shaun shows no sign of letting up on the competition, taking on the world in contests leading up to the 2010 Winter Olympics to be held in Vancouver, Canada. Shaun wanted to pull out all the stops and introduce new tricks to the snowboard world this year, and with the help of Red Bull, a halfpipe was created with snowboarding's first-ever on-mountain foam pit. The Red Bull foam pit allowed Shaun to attempt tricks he never thought would be possible. The one-month training session, dubbed "Red Bull Project X" allowed Shaun to push the progression of snowboarding, and he emerged from Project X with an arsenal of new tricks, including the first ever back-to-back double cork variations which he then debuted at the Burton New Zealand Open in August '09.
In addition to his athletic talents, Shaun has a knack for business. By partnering with companies that he thinks are cool, Shaun has been able to reach out beyond his sport and embraced the position of brand ambassador for companies like Burton, Target, and Ubisoft.
Last year he debuted his original clothing line, Shaun White 4 Target. Shaun and his brother Jesse work together to create a stylish and affordable line of T-shirts, woven shirts, shorts and denim jeans for boys and young men. Shaun also spends time at Target House, a residence for families and patients receiving long-term treatment at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He recently designed and funded the creation of the Shaun White Great Room--a place to hang out, explore and meet new friends.
Along with Burton Snowboards, Shaun has collaborated on a signature outerwear line named the White Collection. His signature men's outerwear line debutted in the fall of 2005; expanding into boots, boards, bags, glove, and as of 2008, Womens Outerwear. The 2010 line embodies both a cultural and musical revolution inspired by the underworld that emerged in England's post-punk society. It was in this revolutionary spirit that Shaun set out to recreate the new line. The White Collection hit stores and Burton.com in August 2009. In addition, last October Burton released "The B", a snowboard film featuring the riding of Shaun White and the Burton snowboard team.
In 2008, Shaun partnered with Ubisoft on the development of his first video game, Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip. The game was a worldwide success, selling over 3 million copies since its launch and establishing a new sports brand for Ubisoft. Building upon the success of last year's game, Shaun and Ubisoft have teamed up again on the holiday 2009 release of Shaun White Snowboarding: World Stage. With creative control from conception to completion, Shaun takes a hands-on approach ensuring everything in his game is just right. Shaun White Snowboarding: World Stage follows Shaun and his crew of friends as they go from chasing the best powder to pursuing the world's top competitions. The new game infuses the snowboarding experience with the most authentic elements of Shaun's riding style, personality, and sense of humor.
Shaun has also been a pioneer for eyewear since he joined the Oakley family in 1998. He was the first athlete to ever co-design a sunglass with Oakley, which he named "The Montefrio," while simultaneously releasing the first ever signature series A-Frame goggle. For 2010, Shaun's collection includes a Signature Jupiter sunglass and a new Signature A-Frame goggle.
Whether in a halfpipe or on a vert ramp, this five time ESPY award winner is undoubtedly a talented athlete. Along with his athletic accomplishments Shaun still finds time to give back, frequently stopping by Target House as well as supporting other organizations such as Tony Hawk Foundation, Heartgift, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Summit on the Summit. Despite his hectic schedule Shaun makes sure there's always enough time for his friends and family.