Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now

Why I Like Shaun White

Posted on February 20, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Snow Boarding

Shaun White's joy during his Olympic medal ceremony epitomizes what is good about the Olympics.

I must start this article off by saying that I know absolutely nothing about snowboarding, the lingo or what qualifies someone as being good at the sport. However, after watching how Shaun White has handled himself off the slopes, I’m willing to learn.

With his long red hair, non-traditional outfits and crazy tricks, White is not exactly typical of the athletes that I generally gravitate toward. And while I have always enjoyed winter sports like skiing and ski jumping, I have not warmed to what I see as the brashness of participants in some of the newer “X Game” type sports.

But, after watching the now two-time Olympic halfpipe champions pure joy at being part of the Olympic experience, I’m beginning to think that I should rethink my bias.

While some athletes such as Bode Miller and Shani Davis seem to epitomize the definition of surly, White has been bouncing around the Olympics like a kid in a candy store. That seems especially amazing considering that this is his second go around as part of the Olympic experience.

Which American Star Has Shined the Brightest in the Winter Olympics?

  • Apolo Ohno (41%, 69 Votes)
  • Shaun White (32%, 55 Votes)
  • Evan Lysacek (12%, 21 Votes)
  • Lindsey Vonn (7%, 12 Votes)
  • Shani Davis (4%, 7 Votes)
  • Julia Mancuso (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Hannah Kearney (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Seth Wescott (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 170

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In interviews White has simply seemed to be happy to be here and determined to soak up every Olympic moment he can.

Shaun White performs many amazing tricks on the snowboard.

Shaun White performs many amazing tricks on the snowboard.

Even though his looks and sport scream new age, his understanding of the importance and privilege of being part of the Olympics is refreshingly old school.

Additionally, he has already expressed his plan to compete again in the 2014 Olympics to be held in Sochi. He is also lobbying for the addition of something called “Slopestyle” to the Olympic menu.

I have no idea what that is, but if it will help ensure that White is back to soak up more Olympic moments, then I’m all in favor.

So I’m off to learn about halfpipe and slopestyle (thank goodness for Wikipedia) so that hopefully by 2014 I will not only be able to appreciate White’s actions off the slopes, but also his performance on the course.

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