Sport Opinion: Shaun White had to go where he had never been to be Olympic champ again

19:04  14 february  2018
19:04  14 february  2018 Source:   USA TODAY SPORTS

Shaun White: Sex assault allegations are gossip

  Shaun White: Sex assault allegations are gossip Shaun White has dismissed the sexual assault allegations made against him in a 2016 lawsuit as "gossip."White won his third Olympic gold medal Wednesday in the men's halfpipe, then was criticized on social media and questioned in a press conference about allegations made in a lawsuit by a former drummer in White's rock band.

In the end, he was Olympic champion again . “We were on such a great path, and it was that true question of do I really want this?” CHAMP : Shaun White wins gold medal in men's halfpipe. COMMENTARY: Shaun White 's Winter Olympics legacy is not all golden.

This is why Shaun White keeps going . This is why the snowboarding superstar returns to the Olympics again and again , a journey that's seen him evolve from teenage phenom to global brand to icon.

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Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Shaun White just fine with upping ante on Olympic halfpipe

  Shaun White just fine with upping ante on Olympic halfpipe Shaun White sat on the couch at home and watched history's best halfpipe contest unfold. He's planning on making the next contest — the one where they hand out the Olympic gold medal — an even better show.White said Thursday that he is working on the tricks that Japan's Ayumu Hirano used to win the Winter X Games last month. Hirano became the first person to string together back-to-back 1440-degree jumps in what was widely regarded as the best show ever seen in a halfpipe."I'm excited to compete with him," White said. "He's really pushing it, and he did an amazing combination that I'm working on myself.

MORE: Shaun White had to go where he had never been to be Olympic champ again . MORE: As Shaun White cements legacy, why so little attention paid to sexual harassment allegations? At 31, White is already one of the oldest competitors.

Here, we take a look back at Shaun White ’s past, see what happened, and see what Shaun White is doing now in 2018. Born with a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot which consists of 4 distinct other defects, the infant White had to go through two major open heart surgeries before he turned one.

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Shaun White threw the trick, the one that had sent him to the hospital five months ago, and told his coach he was scared.

In practice for the Olympic final here at Phoenix Snow Park, the memories of that crash hadn’t faded any more than the still-pink scars on White’s forehead, nose and upper lip. JJ Thomas encouraged White, telling him he had executed the trick fine.

By the time his third run in the final came around, that took a backseat to the competitiveness that has made White snowboarding’s biggest icon.

Needing to land a combination of tricks he’d never done before, White soared above the halfpipe and put down the run of his life. In the end, he was Olympic champion again.

“We were on such a great path, and it was that true question of do I really want this?” White said. “And stepping out on the snow again means that I’m willing to let this happen to myself again. That’s a big decision, and plenty of my friends were like, you’ve got medals. You’re blessed to be well off from this sport, you could easily just go sail into the sunset and write your novel.

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  Austin Dillon Celebrated His Dayton 500 Win by Getting a 'Champ' Tattoo on his Butt Austin Dillon celebrated his Daytona 500 victory by getting a tattoo—but you won't be seeing it anytime soon.&nbsp;Dillon says he tattooed the Daytona 500 logo along with the word "champ" on his butt to celebrate Sunday's win.

He had recently signed a sponsorship deal with Nike, and was considered to have a serious shot of ending Shaun White 's supremacy in the sport. He was marketable and likable but even as success continued to come at him , he never forgot who his friends were and how he got to where he was .

But candy and casual brilliance have never been Shaun White ’s game. In a recent New York Times Magazine profile, Elizabeth Weil noted that ever since he was a kid, other riders have “resented White for snubbing them, not even pretending they were all friends

CHAMP: Shaun White wins gold medal in men's halfpipe

COMMENTARY: Shaun White's Winter Olympics legacy is not all golden

MILESTONE: United States now has 100 gold medals all-time in Winter Olympics

“But I set out to do this goal, and I stuck to it. And they helped me overcome that fear and then I did the same trick that put me in the hospital to win the Olympics. It was a true emotional trip.”

The past four years have tested White’s motivation in a sport where he became a global icon.

In the leadup to the Sochi Games, White was doing more than he ever had. In addition to competing on the halfpipe team, he qualified for the slopestyle team before pulling out of the event once he got to Russia. He was touring with his band, Bad Things. He was even trying to learn Spanish.

“In Sochi, I just didn’t have it in me,” he said. “And it’s awful to admit it, but yet it’s just unmotivated. I was slightly defeated before I got there.

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White has scaled back his off-the-snow interests in recent months. He had been in a band, Bad Things, before Sochi, but they have broken up. Both had uncharacteristic off-days. “Since 2006, Shaun has been the guy to beat,” Richards said.

He had never cared much about competition, but something changed as he watched the guys on TV. He realized he didn't have to give up the side of snowboarding he No other rider had a run that could beat him . Snowboarding had become the Shaun White show, and even White was getting bored.

“I had this perfect storm of biting off more than I can chew during a time when I was the most unmotivated.”

That changed after Sochi.

Initially, he committed publicly to returning. But he wasn’t competing while he toured with his band and some thought he retired. He came back in 2015-16, but he pulled out of a competition after the death of a friend.

“My comeback season, life threw me a curveball,” he said. “And I’m like, what does this mean? Flips in the halfpipe don’t really mean much to me right now.”

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“Really slowly I had to find the love for the sport again.”

IOC refuses Russian athletes' request to join Winter Olympics

  IOC refuses Russian athletes' request to join Winter Olympics The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has refused a request for 15 Russian athletes and coaches to attend the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The 13 athletes and two coaches were among 28 Russian athletes whose lifetime bans were overturned by the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday.After the ruling, the Russian Olympic Committee requested they be allowed to attend to Olympics, which are due to start in South Korea on Friday, February 9.

He ’s going for a fourth Olympics and a third halfpipe gold medal. White believed he and James were even at the Olympic test event. Judges scored James a 96 and White a 95. “Hey are you Shaun White ?” they asked him .

Though Shaun White has had a rough year as far as competitive snowboarding goes , the extreme sports icon has made strides in other aspects of his life. The last twelve months have been nothing if not abnormal for Shaun White —at least on the slopes.

That was not entirely accidental. White changed the team around him, getting a new manager, publicist, coach and physical therapist. He started working out, training off the snow in a way that motivated him to get back on it. He started traveling with Toby Miller, a young rider whose enthusiasm for the sport reminded White what he loved about it.

All was in position to aim for success in Pyeongchang, until White was trying a cab double cork 1440 in New Zealand in October.

He ended up in the hospital for five days with bruised lungs, gashes on his forehead and nose and a split upper lip. White needed 62 stitches, some of which are still in his tongue.

“You can see his face. He’s still healing,” Thomas said. “It’s just remarkable that he was able to overcome that.”

Overcoming that meant landing back-to-back 1440s after silver medalist Ayumu Hirano had done it in his run.

White did it for the first time, hitting a massive frontside double cork 1440 — which is two off-axis flips with four spins — before hitting a cab double cork 1440, the trick he had crashed on.

The tricks are dangerous enough that he didn’t practice them in combination before the competition.

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