Popularly hailed as the flying tomato in most Olympics games, Shaun White is an American snowboarder, skateboarder, and musician. He holds one of the highest records of wins as an Olympian including garnering lots of gold and bronze medals. Through his years as a distinct athlete, Shaun has strived hard and has evidently built a successful career.
With his level of popularity, the red-haired athlete has accumulated a long list of endorsements with several A- list brands. Besides, White is super active in the love department leaving a long trail of broken hearts in his wake.
Shaun White’s Childhood was Marred by a Congenital Heart Disease
White was born on the 3rd of September 1986 in San Diego California. He was later diagnosed to have congenital heart disease, and as a result, underwent two open-heart operations before his first birthday. The surgeries threatened the young athlete’s prospect of a long and healthy life but didn’t affect his ability as a child.
He is the youngest child of Roger and Cathy White who are also parents to two other children Jesse and Kari. Being born in the US makes him an American national, but as per his ethnicity, he is of Irish and Italian descent. Though Shaun was named Shaun Roger White at birth, his acquired moniker – “The Flying Tomato” supersedes other of his names; the name materialized due to his shock of red hair.
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His Parents Encouraged Him to Explore Sporting Activities
White’s parents were involved in sporting activities during their youth, a hobby which they passed on to their kids who often move into the nearby mountains to ski during the winter. The children also displayed a natural inclination towards skateboarding.
Sources say that Shaun began to hone his skills as a skater while he was growing up. He oftentimes rode on Okemo Mountain and Bear Mountain. Among the White children, Shaun was the most aggressive skier which got his mum really worried because of his past health challenges. Cathy didn’t try to discourage him from sports, rather, she started channeling his interest towards snowboarding as opposed to Skiing.
Shaun Began Snowboard Competing at Age 7
His big brother, Jesse, was already good at snowboarding which led Shaun White to follow in his footsteps. Having a natural talent for the sports, he soon overtook Jesse, the budding snowboarder got a lot of support from his parents, who despite their meager resources did all they could for their children. They undertook the responsibility of driving him to various snowboarding meets and subsequently, they enrolled him into competitions when he was just 7 years old. Shaun entered the national ‘Under-12 Championship’ and was placed at the 11th spot.
By age 13, the emerging champion had begun to contest in various snowboarding competitions and was on a winning spree. At age 14, he finally turned professional; around that period snowboarding was officially enlisted in the ‘Olympics’ as a sport. Thus, the stage was set for Shaun, and he was more than eager to display his talent on a global stage.
White’s Good Head Start Made Him a Force to Reckon With
Having practiced right from an early age, Shaun White became a registered member of the amateur circuit at age 13, claiming over three national titles. The skateboarder grew with the success syndrome and by the time he made his first Winter X game, he bagged five slopestyle titles and superpipe titles.
With the rate his career grew, he decided to join the US team for the 2002 winter Olympics, unfortunately, he didn’t qualify. Undeterred, he reigned throughout his stay in the professional circuit and subsequently qualified for the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics competition, winning all the awards of the Grand Prix events.
During the competition at Turin, “The Flying Tomato” who had already won the hearts of many with his previous games almost disappointed his fans after having a fall during his first qualifying run. Shaun braced up and by his second attempt made a flawless entry and landing which earned him the highest score of the competition. In the game, Shaun White made a backside 900 and two 1,080° airs on the front side. With his score of 46.8 on the run and an astonishing 1,080° backside air, he claimed the gold medal.
Subsequently, “the Flying Tomato” Embarked on a Winning Spree
The 2009 Olympics game was quite controversial as Kevin Pearce and Shaun White performed almost the same tricks during the event. Nevertheless, Pearce made 5 hits in the pipe while White made 6 hits. So, after much critical analysis from the judges, “The Flying Tomato” emerged as the winner of the game. With that win, he clinched his second gold medal and became the second person after Tanner Hall to win a gold medal in a superpipe. That’s not all, he also won yet another gold medal in Slopestyle.
The famed snowboarder won the FIS World Cup Men’s Halfpipe event at Vancouver Cypress Mountain, but sadly also sustained a thumb injury. In 2010, he defended his halfpipe title in the winter games winning a gold medal and introducing an amazing new trick of two flips while completing three-and-a-half twists.
The following years came along with lots of wins but 2013 and 2014 were quite challenging as Shaun ended up in third place for the ‘FIS Snowboard World Cup of December 2013 and in the fourth position during the 2014 Winter Olympics. However, he made a solid comeback during the 2018 Winter Olympics ending his tournament run with a gold medal in the halfpipe event. In addition, he was named the richest American athlete at the Olympics. Apart from Shaun’s snowboarding career, he is also one of the finest skateboarders in history.
He has a finger in Entertainment
Shaun White is also an actor and singer and started getting offers to make appearances in the movies and television ever since he came to the limelight. As an actor, he debuted in the movie Friends with Benefits as himself in 2011 and made an appearance in a 2013 episode of American Dad as well as the Disney movie Cloud 9.
On why he has a limited number of appearances in the movies, Shaun White claimed in an interview that he had turned down dozens of movie offers because the characters he was supposed to portray were almost always similar. However, the famed snowboarder has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as well as the reality show The Girls Next Door.
Shaun has been experimenting with the guitar ever since he was a little kid. “The Flying Tomato” now plays for the electronic rock band Bad Things. He has taken a step to document his snowboarding antics by releasing a snowboarding video titled The White Album in 2004 and was the lead character in the documentary First Descent which was equally about snowboarding. Shaun loves to read during his spare time.
How Financially Rewarding has Snowboarding and Acting been for Him?
The flying tomato has evidently worked hard to be where he is today. Through the course of his profession, he has won a lot of gold medals as well as bronze. Shaun White is the first athlete in the history of snowboarding to win four successive gold medals in the Winter X Games Halfpipe competition. Unbelievably, the quintessential snowboarder has also won several medals in the skateboarding competition at the Summer X Games; this took his X Games medal tally to 21.
With all the aforementioned feats, one would not be surprised to learn that the American native has amassed a whopping $60 million in fortune and earns an annual income of $10 million; these figures have been substantiated by trusted sources like Celebrity Net Worth.
He Earns from Endorsement Deals Too
White carries dozens of lucrative endorsement contracts and from what is perceivable, many brands love him and would want to have him on board. It would appear that there is always a long line of brands waiting to enlist his services, this claim can be corroborated by the fact that he secured a lucrative, multi-year deal with Vail Resorts immediately after parting ways with Red Bull (the contract was worth $1.5 Million a year).
The world’s most famous snowboarder is also enjoying other endorsement deals with many other brands such as Ubisoft, Oakley, Target, Burton, and Kraft, and we wouldn’t be wrong to assume that there are still more to come.
Here is a Line-up of His Former Girlfriends
For most men, being extremely successful in their careers has an antecedent of making them the love interest of many women, and in some cases, men as well. With Shaun being the most famous snowboarder in the world, it is quite understandable why he has a long list of ladies he has dated. Meet them below.
Nina Dobrev is the latest among Shaun White’s girlfriends and the couple appeared to make their dalliance Instagram official on the 28th of May 2020. The lovebirds seem to be quarantining together, and the fans first suspected they had become a couple when in March 2020 when they were sported riding a bike in Malibu.
Sarah Barthel is an American singer and half of the electronic duo Phantogram. She became Shaun’s girlfriend in 2013, and they dated for all of five years before going their separate ways in 2018.
Bar Refaeli is an Israeli model who became Shaun White’s love interest in 2012. The details of their relationship were not known but they ended it before the year ran out.
Arielle Vandenberg is an American actress born in California, Arielle had a brief romantic encounter with the famous snowboarder in June 2011.
Apart from his relationship with Sarah that lasted for five years, White had another long dalliance with Summer Spiro. They started in 2004 and stayed together till 2008.
Elisha Cuthbert is a Canadian actress that met Shaun White in February 2008. Subsequently, she became the flavor of the month and fizzled out before the next month.
Lindsay Lohan’s relationship with White was rumored to have taken place in February 2006. However, the American actress never deemed it necessary to come up with a confirmation or rebuttal, neither did Shaun.