Oct 19 (Reuters) – In a sport the place youth can trump expertise, three-time Olympic gold medal-winning snowboarder Shaun White wears his age as a “badge of honour” as he vies to compete at a fifth Olympics.
The American was 19 when he picked up his first gold on the 2006 Turin Games and cemented his legacy as probably the most profitable snowboarder of all time when he triumphed in dramatic trend on the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.
Now 35 years outdated and hoping to compete in the 2022 Beijing Games, White mentioned he was adapting to his standing as the elder statesman of his sport.
“I’ve been the youngest competitor as long as I can remember but I wear it now as somewhat of a badge of honour in a sense,” White instructed reporters on the USOPC media summit.
“To be on top of a sport that’s ever-changing and for this amount of time, it’s been a challenge.”
Staying on prime has been as a lot a psychological problem as a bodily one, he mentioned, after settling for fourth place on the 2014 Sochi Games and having to as soon as once more harness his ardour for competing.
White clinched gold in 2018 on his last run in the halfpipe last, incomes a 97.75 for a spectacular show.
“In Sochi, I’d lost something; I’d lost this edge that I had,” mentioned White. “It was (a) really emotional and sort of heavy journey to find that again.”
The 13-time Winter X Games champion had as soon as hoped to compete in the debut Olympic skateboarding competitors on the Tokyo Games however dropped his bid in early 2020, deciding he was not able to stroll away from snowboarding and instantly “switching gears” again to winter sports.
The path has not all the time been straightforward.
He withdrew from the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, earlier this yr with a knee damage and mentioned it took him longer to get well from the same old bumps and bruises that include the high-flying sport.
“I will admit, you know, it is getting harder – just the day in and day out (and) the grind of doing these tricks,” mentioned White.
“I took a really bad crash a couple of days ago and I remember I would just kind of like bounce back up and feel great but I’m like, ‘Ooo might need a couple more days rest before I get back out there’.”
However, the Californian mentioned he wouldn’t rule out one other Olympic bid, after updating nearly each aspect of his routine from how he practices and spends his time on the hill to how he approaches his eating regimen and sleep.
“I always say it might be (the last) just because it is how it feels,” mentioned White. “Time kind of keeps moving on and I’m thinking, ‘Gosh, I feel pretty good, I’m motivated, I’m excited’ and then boom, I’m at the next Olympics.
“So I wouldn’t depend the following one out.”
Places on the U.S. snowboard halfpipe Olympic team will be allocated based on rankings and performances in qualifying events, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard.