Winter Games Athletes
Nicknamed “The Flying Tomato” because of his long red hair, White has become the superstar of the snowboarding world since turning pro at the age of 13. After winning his first gold medal in the halfpipe at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, White nailed his patented Double McTwist 1260 while successfully defending his title in Vancouver four years later. White was the first man to score a perfect 100 in the superpipe at the 2012 Winter X Games and became the second person in X Games history to win an event six years in a row last year. Having had his face on a Wheaties box, his own video game, a band signed by Warner Bros. Records, a Rolling Stone cover and movie appearances, White has reached celebrity status like no other in the sport. Snowboarding wasn’t enough, however, and in 2011, he became the first person to win a gold medal at both the Winter and Summer X Games when he finished first in the skateboarding “vert” competition. Now a 27-year-old veteran with much shorter hair, White is the favorite to win his third straight gold in the halfpipe and become the first American male to win the same event at three consecutive Winter Olympics. American speedskater Shani Davis has the same opportunity, but White’s event will take place first. White initially planned to tackle a new challenge in the slopestyle event making its debut in Sochi, but backed out after jamming his wrist on the intimidating course in a practice run one day before qualification heats began. While no doubt disappointing to fans, he wanted to maintain his health and put all his focus into the halfpipe despite a history of success in slopestyle. He has taken home eight career medals - including five golds - in the event at the Winter X Games.