Shaun White has announced his official retirement from competitive snowboarding, with Beijing 2022 marking not only his last time on the Olympic stage, but also in any official competition.
“It will be my last competition, which is pretty special,” White told a news conference in Zhangjiakou, China on Saturday, according to the official Olympic website. “It’s been a beautiful run. Let’s see this through and see what’s next.”
Over the course of his career, White has become a household name and an iconic face of snowboarding. The American athlete has earned three Olympic gold medals — at the 2006, 2010 and 2018 Games. This year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing marks his fifth Olympic appearance competing for Team U.S.A. In addition to his Olympic achievements, White has earned 15 gold medals at the X-Games — 13 in snowboarding and two as a skateboarder.
Despite his upcoming retirement, White assured the Saturday press conference that he wouldn’t be leaving the sport completely.
“I think the beautiful part about snowboarding is there’s still a life to be had within the sport outside of competition, with so many names that you know you don’t see in the limelight,” he said. “All these people within an industry that ride backcountry and pipes. I’m just too excited for the next chapter.”
According to the Associated Press, White had recently been facing complications from previous injuries in his knee, back and ankle — prompting him to begin his retirement decision in November 2021.
Still, the Olympian is looking forward to competing in this year’s Games — which begin halfpipe qualifications on Wednesday.
“I’ve been giving it my all. There have been ups and downs to get here, but through it all, I’ve gotten stronger and better the whole way and I’m excited to be here,” White told the media.