The AT50: Snowboarder Shaun White (#2)

Snowboarding's halfpipe hero still sails above the competition
Staff Writer

Phil Ellsworth

Age: 26
Sports: Snowboarding, Skateboarding
Highlights: Two-time Olympic gold medalist (2006, 2010); first person to compete in both the Winter and Summer X Games; has won a medal in the Winter X Games every year since 2002 (13 of them gold)
Quote: "When I was 12 years old, I was hanging out with 23-year-olds. I was into cartoons and Pokemon, and they're all talking about girls. It was a strange way to grow up."
Fact: White attempted the first 1080—three full spins in the air—in skateboarding competition, but failed to land the trick.
AT50 Point Total: 51.5

Early in his life, no one could’ve guessed that Shaun White was destined for athletic greatness. In fact, he was born with a physical defect, a heart condition—Tetralogy of Fallot—that required two open-heart surgeries before he was 1. Only six years later, though, White garnered his first snowboarding sponsorship, and by 17 he was a professional skateboarder. Now he's, simply put, the best snowboard showman in the world, performing improbable tricks—flips, spins and grabs—high in the air above the Superpipe. He's medaled in 12 straight Winter X Games (including 13 golds, 5 silvers and 2 bronzes), won two Olympic gold medals and became the first snowboarder ever to score a perfect 100 in the X Games Superpipe competition. We won't say never, but it will certainly be a very long time before anyone surpasses Shaun White.
—Kurt Miller

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