26/02/2014 | by Sam Oetiker
Earlier this week, Shaun White dropped his self-directed mini documentary ‘Russia Calling’ which you can watch, in full, above. Over it’s 45 minute running time, we get a pretty in-depth look at the grueling training schedule he’s put himself through over the past couple of seasons as well as a glimpse at the triple cork he’d been rumored to have been trying in the pipe.
Love him or loathe him, there’s no shying away from the fact that Shaun White is the greatest competitor that snowboarding has ever seen. Not forgetting his obvious talent on a snowboard, this guy can also take a serious hammering and push it all aside to get to the top of the podium.
Shaun spent a considerable amount of time trying to land the world’s first triple cork in the pipe, but as you’ll see in the movie, ran into some issues along the way. His coach does not come across well, getting super worked up when Shaun is reluctant to give it another go after royally eating shit, adding to an already enormous amount of pressure on Shaun to perform.
Having fun sliding down a mountain and flying through the air has been substituted with analysis, video reviews, protein shakes, ice baths and an enormous pressure and desire to be the best
If anything, the bulk of this documentary just had us feeling sorry for Shaun. He has become so used to winning that when things doesn’t go exactly to plan it starts to consume him from the inside. It’s pretty clear that for Shaun, snowboarding isn’t the same as what it is for the rest of us. Having fun sliding down a mountain and flying through the air has been substituted with analysis, video reviews, protein shakes, ice baths and an enormous pressure and desire to be the best. If anything, watching him play on stage with his band Bad Things and appear to genuinely be having the time of his life, was one of the most uplifting moments of the whole movie.
Russia Calling is a long and at times, dead-slow documentary, but it’s also an incredibly eye-opening look at the competitive machine that is Shaun White. He may get a lot of stick (and we’re certainly guilty of poking a bit of fun on occasion) but his achievements in snowboarding to this point, and undeniable determination, certainly command respect.
But if we ever had the chance to trade places with El Blanco, and revel in the prize money, expensive cars and worldwide acclaim, we’d have to firmly shake his hand and say ‘thanks, but no thanks’. It just looks too damn lonely up there.