Shaun White believes his bid for a fifth Olympics will also be his last.
White, trying to become the oldest male Olympic halfpipe rider in history at age 35, recently revealed that he plans to make his farewell to Olympic competition at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, assuming he qualifies.
“This is, I think, my last run,” White said in an interview clip that aired on TODAY on Wednesday. “It’s hard to talk about because my whole life I’ve kind of been looked at as somewhat superhuman because I do these things [in the halfpipe]. … I’ve prided myself on being that individual, and, man, realizing and admitting to myself and everyone else, I’m human, it’s taken a toll.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 15, 2021
White previously teased the lure of the 2026 Olympics in Italy, where he made his five-rings debut as a 19-year-old in 2006.
Since, he’s won three gold medals and cemented himself as a Winter Games legend.
After his last Olympic title in 2018, White took three years off from halfpipe competition, by far the longest break of his career.
“After my performance in Korea, I just feel like everything’s this awesome bonus situation,” he said last month.
He returned earlier this year and placed fourth and eighth in two contests — putting him in decent position for a U.S. Olympic spot but trailing the medal favorites from Japan and Australia.
White competes again at this week’s Dew Tour in Copper Mountain, Colorado, the third of four Olympic qualifying events. A win would all but wrap up an Olympic berth.
Even if White struggles at Copper and the last qualifier in California next month, he would be a strong candidate for a committee selection in January.
White’s Olympic farewell announcement came 20 years to the week of his first time competing in an Olympic qualifier at age 15.
He missed the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games team by one spot in the last qualifying event. The man who beat him is now his coach, J.J. Thomas.
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