By: Michael Weil — Correspondent
Shaun White competed in his last Olympics this year. That capped his career, consisting of four different Winter Olympic games, and three gold medals. He is the most decorated Olympic snowboarder, and has had a lasting impact on the sport as a whole.
In the 2022 Beijing Olympics, White placed fourth in the halfpipe event, after a heartbreaking fall on his final run.
Sophomore Daniel Weil says that the world view of snowboarding has been changed by Shaun White. “Shaun White has changed the whole perspective of snowboarding for the better through his creativity and determination.”
Senior Craig Blatte says that the snowboarding event was one of the more impressive competitions this year in the Olympics. “The snowboarders this year put on a show. Some of them were jumping almost 25 feet in the air off of the halfpipe, and doing crazy tricks before landing.
Weil says that some of the tricks that these competitors were able to pull off were out of this world. “Ayumu Hirano, the winner of the halfpipe competition, performed a trick that has never been done in competition before.
Weil says that it was cool to see a trick like Hirano’s in comparison to White’s classic McTwist. “It was like a passing of the torch from White, the veteran, and Hirano, the rookie.”
Senior Adam Landstein says that the halfpipe competition was crazy. “I don’t think people realize how high the snowboarders are jumping for these tricks.”
“Although [Shaun White] has just retired, the snowboarding legend has created an unforgettable reputation that will live on for the rest of time” Weil adds.
Halfpipe Snowboarding has been an event in the Olympics since 1998. Shaun White has competed in 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, and 2022. That is 5 out of the 7 olympics since the halfpipe event has come into existence.
In that time, he has been a 3 time gold medalist and has many other X-Games medals to add to his repertoire.
Blatte says White is like the Tom Brady or Stephen Curry of snowboarding. “Shaun White has had such an impact on snowboarding much like Stephen Curry, who has changed the game of basketball. White is also such a dominant athlete in his sport similar to Tom Brady, however not fully on that level.”
Landstein says that it has been special to live through an era of such great athletes in their sports. “Growing up watching athletes like LeBron James, Tom Brady, and Shaun White; has been something that will likely never happen again for many years.
Weil says that the future of the Snowboarding Halfpipe competition is in good hands. “The gold medalist of the competition, Ayumu Hirano, and the silver medalist, Scotty James, are two extremely skilled snowboarders who have many more intense competitions ahead of them. All their tricks, of course, were at least slightly inspired by Shaun White.”