Olympic Snowboarder Shaun White Is Over Being Called the Flying Tomato
You've either seen him on a snowboard or a skateboard, but either way you've seen Shaun White doing some awesome tricks. Despite recent setbacks, which include a bad crash from which he had to get 62 stitches on his face, the two-time gold medalist is back and ready to compete in the Pyeongchang, South Korea, Winter Games. Here are seven things you may not know about Shaun that will make you continue to root for him!
His Family Lived Out of a Van to Support His Dreams
When Shaun was a child and just learning to snowboard, his parents went above and beyond to help him achieve his dreams. He often tells the story of how they bought a van and would drive to the mountains every weekend so he could snowboard. He says they couldn't afford to sleep in resorts so they would sleep in the van, an experience he says has helped him appreciate his success even more.
He May Also Compete in the Summer Games in 2020
Shaun is also a pro skateboarder and has been since the age of 17, after being discovered by Tony Hawk in a skateboard park. Skateboarding was just added as a sport to the Summer Games, so you may see him competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He told the LA Times, "I've already been running tricks in my head. To be a Winter Olympian and a Summer Olympian would be so amazing."
He Is a Business Icon
Shaun is not just an athlete but also a business mogul, solidified by his being named to the Forbes 30 under 30 in Sports list in 2014. He has launched several clothing lines, including WHT Space at Macy's. He also is a shareholder in the Air + Style Sports and Music Festival and a stakeholder in Mammoth Resorts.
He Has a Special Connection With Jimmy Kimmel
Shaun recently revealed to Jimmy Kimmel that he was born with a heart defect and had two surgeries before his first birthday. It resonated with Kimmel, whose own baby son had to have heart surgery. When Shaun was on his show, Jimmy said, "I'm really glad you could come because when we were told this operation was going to be happening, everyone said, 'Shaun White had this, Shaun White had this.' And I thought, 'Oh no, my son's going to be a snowboarder.'"
He's Played at Lollapalooza
Shaun's other passion is music, and he is so good at the guitar that his former electric rock band, Bad Things, headlined at the Lollapalooza festival in 2013. While the group has since disbanded, White once told Rolling Stone he would "drop everything for them."
He Loves to Design Homes
In addition to being a business mogul, Architectural Digest recently said Shaun might be the next "celebrity real estate mogul." In his free time, he says he loves to design homes and has bought and sold several.
Don't Call Him "Flying Tomato"
His red hair is one of his signature trademarks, but it's not something he embraces as much anymore, preferring a more subtle look than his long red locks used to be. For a long time his nickname was "Flying Tomato" (do we have to explain?), but now he says he has outgrown it and would prefer not to be called by it.
To learn more about Shaun, visit Team USA. The Winter Games will air live beginning Feb. 8.