In 1996, champion snowboarder Shaun Palmer decided he would try downhill mountain biking, a sport he had never trained in. He promptly shocked the pro tour by winning two events and missing first place at the World Championships by 0.15 of a second. He was immediately given a pro sponsorship deal by Specialized Bicycles. Riding the now legendary FSR DH bike, he went on to win the 1999 NORBA downhill championship in the dual slalom category, but it was for his rock star image that he was most well-known. As his former mechanic Joe Buckley told Flow Mountain Bike in 2012: “Palm never actually won that many races, but he was so over the top that people paid more attention to that than to how many races Nico Voullioz was winning!” Born in South Lake Tahoe, California on 14th November 1968, Shaun grew up with a love of all things fast. By the age of 12 he had grown enamored with the still-infant sport of snowboarding, and after building his own board, he taught himself the sport. When he was 15, he dropped out of high school to turn pro. But it’s not only snowboarding and downhilling in which Shaun excels. In 2001, competing against the world's best professional skiers, Shaun won the Skiercross event at the ESPN Winter X Games in Vermont, and soon after was crowned Action Sports Athlete of the Year at the ESPY Awards. He has also competed in the AMA US Motocross Championships and on the US pro supercross series.
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