Shaun White confirmed in a news conference that he would retire from the Olympics following the Beijing Games, according to ESPN.
“This has all had its amazing glow as I’ve decided this will be my last Olympics,” the three-time Olympic gold medalist said. “I’ve given it my all. There have been some ups and downs on the way to get here. And with that, I feel I’ve got stronger and better.
“I’m just so excited about everything. Opening ceremony was incredible. The venue looks incredible. I’m just enjoying every single moment.”
Shaun stated that due to injuries that include ankle, knee and back issues, this would not only be his last Olympics, but his last competition.
“After the Olympics, I don’t compete much after the Games as there’s so much pressure weighing on you, and that relief is warranted,” he said. “I usually take the season off to get excited again, but this will be my last competition.”
“They were taking away from days in practice, and I was watching the tricks getting heavier and heavier.”
Shaun also shared the moment when he realized he was at the end of his career.
“I was riding down from the halfpipe in Austria, and I got lost, and I had to take this chair back up. And on that chairlift ride, the mountain was closing, and I was on my own, and I was watching the sun go down, and it hit me: this is it. It was a surreal moment, but very joyous as I watched the sun go down and reflected.”
Even with his announcement, he said he is confident about his prospects and the current games, and he is still planning on being competitive, ESPN noted.
This is Shaun White’s fifth Olympic games. He won gold a Turin 2006, Vancouver 2010, and Pyeongchang 2018. He has also won 18 individual Winter X Games medals.
As for the legacy he hopes to leave behind, he said, “I hope my riding speaks for itself. I’m always trying to push and progress and do the next biggest thing and pick up on what trends are happening in the sport and get ahead of that curve.”
“I’m sort of pinching myself, with how lucky I am to still be here at this age,” he added.