In Pyongyang he won his third Olympic gold: Before his last final run White is only second behind 19-year-old Ayumu Hirano. The Japanese shows two 1440s back-to-back (two jumps in a row with a quadruple turn) and a flawless run, there are 95.25 points. But White counters immediately the first two jumps also 1440s and a total of 97.75 points. Third place goes to Australia's Scotty James.
"This is the most beautiful day of my life," writes the then 31-year-old on Instagram. At his fifth Olympic Games, he once again had the opportunity to show the next generation again. White, at 35 rather upscale age for a freestyle pro, qualified at short notice in Laax and punched his ticket to the finals at the Olympics in fourth place in qualifying. The ungrateful fourth place remained at his last games. White missed out on a medal position by just 2.5 points and a few tears were shed after his last run. The gold medal went to Japan's Ayumu Hirano, whom White sees as a worthy successor.
Shaun White was born with a heart defect, started skateboarding at six, and had his first sponsorship deal with Burton in the bag by the time he was seven. Thus began the extraordinary career of arguably the biggest star in action sports. Since this rocket start, the US American has broken just about every record in the scene as the ace of freestyle snowboarding and is also known in the USA as an actor and musician.
However, the road to success, fame and money is often painful. In preparation for the Olympic season in Pyongyang, White crashed badly and then posted this picture with severe facial injuries quite authentically.
White won Olympic gold in the halfpipe at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games. In 2014, however, he "only" managed fourth place in Sochi. A disgrace for him. White took a sabbatical, became an entrepreneur and went on tour with his band Bad Things.
Then he hit the headlines because the band's drummer accused him of sexual harassment. There has since been an out-of-court settlement. A year before the Games, White began to concentrate fully on snowboarding again.
It wasn't just his competitors who lined up after his last run in Beijing to congratulate snowboarding legend White on a unique career. Even at home in Los Angeles, friends and family had gathered to watch live Shaun White's last performance on the big international sports stage.
White's girlfriend, actress Nina Dobrev, expressed particular pride in her partner's achievement on Instagram. "I couldn't be prouder. Of all you've accomplished in over 20 years as a competitor and the man you've grown into." And Shaun White was also more than touched at the end of his career, thanking the snowboarder himself with heart emoji and a "Thank you Snowboarding."
In an interview, he said he was excited to see what awaits him next now. The snowboarding veteran certainly won't be bored. He has established his own snowboard brand with Whitespace and continues to be active as an entrepreneur and actor.
Shaun White has triumphed 15 times at the X-Games - the mecca of trend sports - in snowboarding and skateboarding. He has been named "Best Male Action Athlete" and "Best U.S. Olympic Athlete" 10 times at the ESPY.
Instagram: 2.1 millionFollowers
Facebook: 2.3 million fans
Twitter: 1.7 million followers
White is a fan millionaire on Facebook and Twitter, as well as on Instagram. Incredible figures in winter sports, just like his earnings. His market value is estimated at 60 million dollars, and he earns around ten million dollars a year without ever having stood on a snowboard. This makes him the richest snowboarder in the world.
Even at the Super Bowl he was in a prominent role during the TV broadcast. During the commercial breaks, a "Best of U.S." Commercial featuring him was shown (see below). This honor was bestowed upon only four other athletes.
Back in 2009, White signed a multimillion-dollar contract with Burton Snowboards, he sells video games and is endorsed by Red Bull. Other partners are/were mega-companies like Target, Oakley, Hewlett-Packard or Ubisoft. In the meantime, he has established his own snowboard brand with Whitespace and is also the owner of the sports and music event series Air & Style.
According to insiders, White calls up at least two million dollars in annual fees per contract. Figures that other snowboard stars like Anna Gasser or even alpine stars like Lindsey Vonn or Marcel Hirscher can only dream of.
White is also well known to the Nashville Metro Police Department. In 2012, he was briefly arrested after pulling the fire alarm at 2 a.m. while drunk, causing an evacuation of his hotel
He then attempted to flee in a cab, falling on the way and requiring hospitalization. White apologized afterwards, saying, "The celebration got a little out of hand."