American Shaun White is one of the most recognisable faces in snowboarding. He won every major halfpipe contest before he was 20, including his first Olympic gold in 2006, a performance which transformed him into the sport’s first true superstar. He went on to invent and perfect a series of double cork variations, and he secured a second Olympic gold in 2010.
In 2013, he won his sixth consecutive superpipe victory at the Winter X Games, taking his total gold medal count at the event to fourteen. He has also picked up six Winter Dew Tour gold medals, and in 2006, he became the first athlete to make a clean sweep of the US Snowboarding Grand Prix halfpipe season.
Born in San Diego, California in 1986, Shaun endured two major surgeries to correct a heart defect before he was a year old, but he didn’t let that hold him back. One of his family’s favourite pastimes was skiing, and by the age of four he was already able to keep up with older brother Jesse on the slopes. By six he was turning heads on a snowboard, and at 13 he turned pro.
And it’s not only on the snowboard that Shaun excels – after befriending the legendary Tony Hawk, he won skateboarding gold at the 2007 Summer X Games, in the process becoming the first athlete to win gold at both Summer and Winter X Games. He also won gold at the 2011 Summer X Games and has three times won gold in skateboarding on the Dew Tour.