After nearly 20 years as the face of American snowboarding, Shaun White is calling it a career. On Saturday, at the outset of his fifth Olympics, White announced that he would retire from competitive snowboarding at the conclusion of the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
White, 35, cited lingering knee and back issues that had forced him to withdraw from competitions as well as miss training as factors in his decision. White's final competition will be the upcoming Olympic men's snowboard halfpipe, which will see qualifying runs take place on Wednesday, Feb. 9 before the finals Friday, Feb. 11.
While White had previously indicated that Beijing would mark his final Olympic games, Saturday's announcement signaled his retirement from the competitive side of his sport altogether.
"This has all had its amazing glow to every single decision and every single competition because I've decided this will be my last Olympics," White said in a story by Corinne Heller of Yahoo. "I've given it my all. There have been some ups and downs on the way to get here. But through all that, I feel I've got stronger and better."
"... I think this is will be my last -- well, it will be my last competition. Which is pretty special too."
Despite his retirement from competition, White stated that he does not anticipate leaving the sport of snowboarding entirely.
"I think the beautiful part about snowboarding is there's still a life to be had within the sport, outside of competition," he said. "... I'm excited for that next chapter."
White built his snowboarding legacy at the Winter X Games, becoming the record holder for the most all-time medals won by an individual athlete with 18, while augmenting it with his accomplishments at the Olympics. White won his first gold medal in the halfpipe at Torino in 2006, and followed it up with two more gold medals at Vancouver in 2010 and Pyeongchang in 2018.
In addition to his decorated career in snowboarding, White also medaled five times in X Games skateboarding, making him the first athlete to compete in and medal at both the X Games and Winter X Games.