Shaun White is aiming to compete in skateboarding at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, he said today. Standing at the bottom of the snowboard halfpipe in Pyeongchang, where he’s just won an incredible third gold medal, the American rider told Mpora: “Honestly I am [thinking of Tokyo] yeah! To go skateboarding in the summer.
“Just to get to the summer Olympics would be amazing. It’s a big passion of mine." Shaun has previously competed in skateboard vert, winning his first X Games medal in 2005 and taking home the gold in 2007 and 2011. Skateboarding will be introduced as an Olympic discipline for the first time at the Tokyo 2020 games.
Shaun hasn’t been skating, at least not at the highest level, for a few years, and his favoured discipline of vert isn’t scheduled to be part of the program. But we have no doubt that if he sets his mind to it he’ll be able to adapt his skills to park or street skating (the two contest formats mooted for inclusion) before the US Team selection takes place.
He told us he’s intending to get back on four wheels and start training almost as soon as he gets back to the States. “I think I’ll start skateboarding when I get home.
"To get to the summer Olympics would be amazing, and it’s a big passion of mine."
“Well, probably I’ll go to a beach somewhere [first] but then I’ll probably start skateboarding a little, enter a few competitions, get the blood going, see how it feels, and then decide."
If there’s one thing that today’s snowboarding result tells you about Shaun White it’s that he’s a consummate competitor, who’s always willing to go the extra mile for the big competitions. Making it to the halfpipe in Pyeongchang required recovering from a seriously nasty crash in after which he “couldn’t recognise himself in the mirror", and throwing down a trick combination he’d never previously landed.
And unlike other skateboarders, Shaun White won’t be afraid to hire coaches, or get in the gym to fulfil his summer Olympic dream either. He doesn’t care whether it’s “cool" or not. “When I was younger it was really uncool to want to win, to train, to be upset when you lost," he told Mpora. “Everybody was like: ‘I’m just stoked to ride’ and I’m like ‘no you’re not, it’s a contest, you want to win!'"
How the skateboarding world will react to the news is unclear. But given what we’ve seen of Shaun Roger White over the past few days, we wouldn’t bet against him bringing home yet another gold medal.