Shaun White may be on the cusp of something great, but the Olympian star has received no love from his fellow U.S. Teammates, and a few have openly stated that they do not want the ‘Flying Tomato’ placing on the podium at the Sochi Olympics. He is on the verge of being the first American to capture a gold medal in three straight Winter Olympics, going all the way back to the games held at Turin in 2006 and the Vancouver games held in 2010. White was once an American many fans and snowboarders alike adored and admired, but in recent years many snowboarders have turned an eye to the snowboarding icon.
His decision to drop out of the Slopestyle event held at the Olympics has not helped his popularity throughout the Americans, especially the ones who were not given an opportunity to participate in the games due to the full roster. Now that White has decided to remove himself from the event, it has left a empty slot that will not allow any replacements in the competition. White cited many issues with the Slopestyle event, describing it unsafe for him and wanting to preserve his body to defend his title on the Half-pipe. His U.S. teammates and fellow competitors in other countries have criticized the star, saying he was scared that he may lose the event, in thus losing some of his marketing credibility back in the states. Shaun White may be receiving no love from his team but he quite frankly has taken a lone wolf approach anyways when preparing for the Sochi Olympics.
Others have also questioned if Shaun has lost his love for the sport. Wondering if he is just doing it for himself and not for the country he is representing. Citing the selfish comments he has made leading up to the events, Shaun may not be in the friendly frame of mind; but when it comes to gold, the athletes must ill afford to lose focus on the task on hand. The famed boarder understands his age and the recent injuries he had suffered just before traveling to Sochi; and has reminded himself continuously to stay more grounded.
Shaun’s career has paved the way for many future snowboarders and skaters alike in America, to which his presence alone should demand much respect from the athletes in the competition. The Flying Tomato’s career speaks for itself after winning numerous golds in the Winter X Games, the Winter Olympics, and also has won some gold in the X games outside the world of snowboarding. Despite whether he is receiving much love from his US teammates or not, his career has already been defined as one of the best in his sport. No matter what some have to say or what his opponents may tweet to question his decisions; Shaun White plans on bringing home the gold in the half pipe event and to continue his reign on the event for maybe just this one last time at the Sochi Olympics.
By Justin Huffman