Winter Olympics 2018: Shaun White's heart condition inspires an army of loyal fans

Shaun White is one of the most successful snowboarders in United States' history. A two-time gold winner on the snowboarding halfpipe, White is hoping that the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang can serve as a bit of a redemption tour after failing to medal in Sochi's 2014 Games. However, for one group, White doesn't need any redemption at all. White suffers from a heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot -- which is made up of four congential heart defects -- and has undergone three separate operations to repair his heart.

White's scar from the surgeries is clearly visible in his commercial for the Super Bowl, square in the middle of his chest.

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NBC Olympics screengrab

With this in mind, it only makes sense that White's appearance overlaps with CHD Awareness Week. CHD stands for Congenital Heart Disease, and the week lasts from Feb. 7-14. Those that suffer from CHD have been paying their respects to one of their icons all week as well.

White's appearances impact not only the children suffering from CHD, but also the parents. Twitter has been flooded with these types of messages, reminding White (and the world) that people are watching him as not only a snowboarder, but also an inspiration.

White also talked about his condition with Jimmy Kimmel -- whose son shares a similar condition -- last May. According to Kimmel in the interview, White owns his condition and recognizes his status, driving down from Mammoth Mountain (a little over a five hour drive) to speak to Kimmel on his show.

White's been through a lot to get to these Olympics, and rest assured, he isn't looking to settle. Whether it's the ongoing heart condition or a huge crash while preparing for these Games, White is trying to leave his mark -- and not just for himself. His Super Bowl spot said it all. After taking fourth at Sochi, it's gold or bust in South Korea.

He'll have the opportunity to do so on Tuesday night, as the men's snowboarding halfpipe gold medal final will air on NBC at 8 p.m. ET. Chloe Kim already secured one gold for Team USA in the halfpipe, so White will be looking to inspire an entire new generation of CHD kids -- and their parents -- on Tuesday.

For the full slate of Olympic events on Tuesday, you can go here. There's a lot going on, but Shaun White is must-see TV.

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