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10 years as pro athelete and he's only: When Shaun White isn't winning gold medals, he makes time for charities
Brie Maaske
Antelope Staff
Photo by Rolling Stone
White was on the cover of Rolling Stone right around this time four years ago after he won his first Olympic gold medal. He graces cover again this month, pumping Jimi Hendrix, who was orginally scheduled for the April issue. In tribute to Hendrix, White lit his snowboard on fire for the covershot.

He went pro 10 years ago. He’s 23 years old. Let’s think about that one for a second.

Yes, you did the math right; Shaun White went pro at age 13. He’s also a professional skateboarder. It took him until 17 to accomplish that.

White is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a 16-time medalist at the X Games, (10 of those medals being gold) and a five-time ESPY award winner. Yeah, he’s only 23 years old.

White underwent two heart surgeries before he was even a year old, but that didn’t slow him down. He started snowboarding at four, and ended up earning sponsorship from Burton Snowboards when he was seven. He also placed in the top 10 at nationals that year.

White is the first athlete to compete and medal in both the Summer and Winter X Games, as well as the first athlete to sweep the U.S. Grand Prix series, the qualifying event for the Olympics.  

White won his first Olympic gold at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. He did it again, just a few weeks ago in Vancouver at the 2010 Olympics. He rocked the first round and received 46.8 out of 50. He wouldn’t have needed to make a second round to win the gold.

But he did, and he pulled out the double McTwist 1260. He ended up with an almost perfect score, 48.4. The silver medalist was still almost three points behind him.

In order to prepare for the Winter Olympics, and to create new moves,  White with the help of his sponsor, Red Bull, created his own personal halfpipe in the backwoods of Silverton, Colo.

The halfpipe took two months, 30 heli-bombs, 800 pounds of steel and a half million dollars.

The pipe serves as a secret location for White to try out new moves in the first and only foam pit on a mountain, accessible only by helicopter.

White runs much of his own career alongside his brother, Jesse, and his agent, Mark. He only works with companies he relates with, not just anyone who comes his way.

He designs his own line of snowboards and men’s and women’s outerwear for Burton, has a clothing line with Target for young boys, two video games with Ubisoft as well an exclusive Target only game and multiple snowboarding and skateboarding films.

On top of everything else White is involved with, he makes time for charity. He spends time at the Target House, a residence for families and patients receiving long-term treatment at St. Jude Children’s Hospital. There is even a Shaun White Great Room for residents to get together and hang out.

He also works with the Tony Hawk Foundation, Heartgift and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  
Yeah, he’s 23 years old.

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