By: Eliana Klein
As the Winter Olympics advance, more and more headlines are being filled with the recent news of Shaun White’s final year of shredding powder.
White, the 35-year-old three-time gold medalist, will represent the United States during the snowboarding event in Beijing. He has been competing in the Olympic Games since he was 19 years old and has become an inspiration for young snowboarders around the world. White will be in final runs one and two on February 10th. His fans hope that he can finish his career off with a shiny gold medal. His intentions for finishing his career in snowboarding this year are said to be driven by his family and his health.
Many fans are happy that White is putting himself first and have been very understanding about his decision.
Owen Smith, an 18-year-old recreational snowboarder, expressed his opinion on this topic. “I feel as if in your mid-thirties after you have had such a successful career priorities change. Family friends and health have become his priorities and snowboarding is a dangerous sport,” said Smith.
White has suffered many detrimental injuries from his career yet they never stopped his competitive spirit until now.
“Family and health first,” stated Smith.
Many snowboarders and followers of White have also started to stir the pot with conversations about who will be filling his shoes. While stars will never truly be replaced or forgotten, boarders like Chloe Kim and Julia Marino have been dripping in gold and silver at the Olympics this year. These young successors have given White’s fans a lot of hope for the future of American snowboarding.
Ryan Weinburg, a dedicated 18-year-old recreational snowboarder and heavy follower of the Winter Olympics, grew up inspired by White’s achievements.
“I would love to think that I could be that talented someday, so sure, with enough hard work and dedication anyone could be great. He is literally my biggest role model and I can’t imagine how many people feel the same way, especially after this year in the games,” said Weinberg.
The amount of hope and passion that spills out of White’s strong fanbase is truly phenomenal.
While it is always hard for fans to see big stars step out of the spotlight, it seems that his fanbase actually cares because many have been understanding of White’s decision.