"It will be my last competition" - Shaun White confirms he'll hang up snowboard after Beijing 2022

Team USA's three-time Olympic gold medallist reveals that these Winter Olympics will be the final event of his impressive career.

By Andrew Binner
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Shaun White has confirmed that the Beijing 2022 Games will be his final snowboard event.

"It will be my last competition, which is pretty special," the American said to media including Olympics.com in Zhangjiakou, China, on Saturday (5th February).

White also insists he has nothing left to prove, as he prepares to compete at his fifth and final Olympics for Team USA.

The 35-year-old had previously told Olympics.com that this would be his final Games, but Saturday's announcement confirms his retirement from the sport this month.

MORE: The most asked questions about Shaun White

"It's pretty heavy, but I'm enjoying it" - White

"Every step of the way (towards Beijing) has had that same feeling, that same love that I've re-found and discovered again within the sport that I've then carried that through into this Olympics, that positive mindset.

"It's my last Olympics in competition. Everything's got this extra excitement to it. The last time I'll be doing this (a pre-race press conference), the last time sitting with you guys (his USA teammates), the last opening ceremony, all these things, you know, so it's pretty, pretty heavy, but I'm enjoying it."

A long road to his final Olympics

White shared how the journey to Beijing 2022 had been one of progression.

"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," he shared.

"The Opening Ceremony and venue were incredible. In terms of legacy, I've done so much in the sport, I hope that my riding speaks to that. I'm always trying to ride and progress and pick up on trends in sport and stay ahead of the competition."

The American also spoke about the course at the Genting Snow Park, in the mountains north of Beijing.

"Practice starts tomorrow and I'm looking forward to finally getting to it. I'm so happy just to make the Games. I'm going to enjoy this whole process, especially for my fifth time. I'm pinching myself how lucky I am to be here still at this age. I can't wait for practice to finally start tomorrow"

"It's been a beautiful run. Let's see this through and and see what's next. You know, but I definitely don't think I'll be leaving the sport anytime soon. I think the beautiful part about snowboarding is there's still a life to be harder than the sport outside of competition with so many names that you know you don't see in the limelight. All these people within an industry that ride backcountry and pipes. I'm just to excited for the next chapter."

Proudest moments of Shaun White's career

White is undoubtedly the snowboard halfpipe GOAT.

But with so many amazing moments and achievements on his lengthy resume, there is one memory that stands out above the rest thus far.

"I would have to say the last Olympics (at PyeongChang 2018)," he continued. "To be in a position where I was the last rider to go and one more run, I'd never have done that combination of tricks before and just put it down to win. I mean, it's a legacy performance and such a pressure situation."

Given White's history of bad injuries, and having taken three years out of the sport after his last Olympic victory, his consistency at the top of the sport is one of the most celebrated aspects of his storied career.

"The biggest thing I'm the most proud of would be I'm staying on top of a sport that's ever changing for as long as I have. You know, it's almost like fashion or something. It's like ever changing. You're trying to guess the trend of what's going to happen and having a finger on the pulse. And so that's been really challenging, and I'm so proud of that."

Shaun White's legacy already set in stone

Snowboard halfpipe has been held at six Olympic Games, having made its debut at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. White owns half of the all-time gold medals in the event, as he claimed the title at the 2006 Torino Games, the 2010 Vancouver Games, and the 2018 PyeongChang Games.

He missed the podium, barely, in 2014 in Sochi, where he finished fourth.

White’s performance at the 2018 Games in PyeongChang set the all-time scoring record for men’s halfpipe (97.75 for his second run).

Away from the Olympic Games, White has also made history. He owns 18 medals from the Winter X Games, including 13 golds. He’s also won five gold medals at the summer X Games in skateboarding (two gold, two silver, and a bronze), making him the first athlete to compete in and medal at both the X Games and the Winter X Games.

MORE: Olympic snowboard at Beijing 2022: Top five things to know

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