Shaun White admits itch to return to competitive snowboarding is ‘always there’

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Shaun White retired from competitive snowboarding following a fourth-place finish in the halfpipe event at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

White was only in his mid-30s when he decided to step away from the spot he dominated for so long. He won three gold medals at the Olympics dating back to 2006 in Italy, not to mention the 10 X Games gold medals he racked up during his illustrious career.

Shaun White gets big air

Shaun White of the United States in action in the Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe Final at Genting Snow Park during the Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 11, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China. (Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

With the trend of great athletes possibly second-guessing retirement, White admitted in an interview with Fox News Digital that the itch to return to snowboarding is “always there.”

“It’s just kind of maintaining this sort of like, well, ‘you stopped for a reason.’ And I spoke to a lot of athletes and they were just like, ‘It never goes away,’” he said. “You’re like watching TV and (say) I could’ve made that catch. They’re just like that’s just embedded and ingrained in your for so many years of doing it. But there’s like this amazing life waiting for you outside of that.”

White said he picked the brains of some famous athletes about how they look at their careers when they are off the field or out of the pool.

Shaun White in 2023

Shaun White arrives for The Albies hosted by the Clooney Foundation at the New York Public Library in New York City on Sept. 28, 2023. (ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)


“Guys like Michael Strahan, Michael Phelps and I even ran into Tom Brady, which was actually great because he did the, ‘Hey I’m gonna come back’ and yeah it’s hard to let go of that feeling. And it was cool to talk to him about (it) like, ‘Man, we did it. We had our moment and we can celebrate that because the history books will show,’” White said.

He told Fox News Digital he is developing a solid career outside of competition but is still practicing tricks. While he may not be competing against other nations come 2026, he expects to be back in Italy to cheer on his friends.

Shaun White and Nina Dobrev

Nina Dobrev and Shaun White at the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar Party held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 10, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images)

“It’s definitely fun, and I’ve still been able to get back out on the mountain and work on tricks and have fun and ride. I have my own brand called White Space and we do boards and outerwear and all this stuff. I’m still involved in the sport through that. I was still testing products. We have now young riders that we sponsor. It’s been cool but yeah definitely, like, I’ll be there probably on the microphone or something for that Games. Definitely cheering my friends on.”

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