by Andrew Wilkes
Shaun White knows a thing a two about winning gold medals; 13 times in fact at the Winter X Games. Last night, “The Flying Tomato” who fashioned his new afro-less hair, flipped and twisted his way to yet another flawless performance in the super pipe.
After watching the 14 year old phenom throw down an impressive 92, Sean White showed the whole world why he is the best snowboarder that has ever been.
Just when you thought Sean was done, he ran his third run to sheer perfection. On his way to his score of 98, Sean’s jump hit a height of 24.1ft while averaging 19ft throughout his run. This isn’t anything Sean has not done before. Last year, he was rewarded with a perfect score with a flawless run of similar moves.
Even more impressive, Sean was able to bounce back from a disappointing slopestyle performance the day before with a focus and determination that was second to none. In the slopestyle event, Sean fell two out of his three runs and finished in fifth place.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been more focused on what I’m doing physically and mentally,” White said. “I used to get so super-stressed out and would have lost control if something would have happened like Slopestyle the other day. But now I’m old enough to turn that into a positive. I take that and use it to help me take a giant step forward.”
He wanted to redeem himself.
“I had a very unsatisfied feeling from slopestyle,” White said. “Every hit got me more and more motivated.”
Even though Sean has been winning Gold medals for ten years now, he still cherishes each victory like it is his first.
After his third run victory lap, Sean could be seen at the edge of the crowd on his hands and knees face first in the snow. Even though everybody in the world knows he is the best, Sean knows he is fortunate to boast a career that has avoided devastating injuries; and be able to turn snowboarding into a career that he can take into his thirties, a feat that is unheard of in this day and age.
A pretty humbling title,” said White, who looks different with his shorter hair, but wins just the same as when he had those long, curly red locks. “This is pretty heavy.”
Even though Sean could retire knowing he was the best ever, he keeps going full steam ahead continuous improving his art. With the Olympics just over a year away, Sean White decided to take the summer off of skateboarding and focus on sharpening his skills and being fully read come Winter Olympics 2014. As Sean said himself,
“Obviously,” he said, “I need to go practice some Slopestyle.”