The “Flying Tomato” turns 29 years old today.
Born in San Diego, California on this date in 1986, Shaun Roger White is the youngest of three children and was born with Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect that required two open heart surgeries before his first birthday. His parents were avid skiers but Shaun followed in his older brother’s footsteps and switched to snowboarding at age six. By age seven he received his first sponsorship. He grew up riding in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California in the winters and skateboarding at the Encinitas YMCA with his older brother, Jesse. Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk discovered White when he was nine at a local skate park and mentored him, resulting in White’s turning pro in skateboarding at age 17. White has won numerous titles on his skateboard, including the overall title of Action Sports Tour Champion and is the first person to compete in and win both the Summer and Winter X Games in two different sports. He won gold medals in the Skateboard Vert competitions at the 2007 and 2011 Summer X Games, silver in 2005 and 2010 and earned bronze in 2008.
White made his Winter X Games debut in 2000 at the age of 13. He won his first Winter X Games medals, both silver, in the Superpipe and Slopestyle events in 2002 and won at least one Winter X Games medal every year thereafter through 2013. He is the most decorated Winter X Games athlete of all time, with 23 medals, including 15 gold, in 22 X Games appearances. He has is an eight-time XG Superpipe champion, 5 time XG Slopestyle champion, four time U.S. Open Champion, has won three World Cup golds and was the 2006 U.S. Grand Prix of Snowboarding overall champion In addition, he was also the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympic gold medalist in snowboard halfpipe.
The “Chairman of the Board” became the first person to score a perfect 100 in the men’s Snowboard Superpipe in the 2012 Winter X Games, is the first snowboarder ever to land back-to-back double corks, was the first to land a Cab 7 Melon Grab in vert skateboarding and remains the only skater to land the frontside heelflip 540 body varial, also known as the “Armadillo”. Shaun White holds the record for the highest score in the Men’s Halfpipe at the Winter Olympics [48.4], plays guitar in the electronic rock band Bad Things and has won 10 ESPY Awards. His brother Jesse is his best friend and business manager.