Three-time Olympic snowboarding champion Shaun White admits he is already planning for life after sport as he readies himself for what could be his swansong at the Winter Olympics.
The 35-year-old recently suggested that he could bow out after Beijing, having competed in the previous four editions of the Games.
Since turning professional at the age of 13, White’s snowboarding career has been an illustrious one. Aside from his record-breaking accomplishments in the X-Games, the American has secured Olympic halfpipe gold in Torino in 2006, Vancouver in 2010 and PyeongChang in 2018.
'This is, I think, my last run' - Snowboarding legend White set to bow out at Beijing 2022
Despite setting his sights on securing the quadruple next month, White admits his mind has already switched to what could lie in store once his days as an athlete are over.
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“I’m at the point in my life where my siblings, my brother has two sons and my sister has a daughter, and one more on the way,” he told the official Olympics website.
“I don’t know, that seems slightly appealing, obviously. I guess it’s much more complicated than I’m making it out to be!
“I’m kind of excited about it, honestly. I guess as long as I can remember, I’ve been doing what I’m doing, and it’s amazing.
But obviously, there’s so much more to life than sports.
“I’m excited to see everything there is to offer.”
His forward-thinking should not be mistaken for complacency or a lack of interest in Beijing, however.
White insists he still has what it takes to compete with the best in the sport, and with the prospect of another Olympic medal on the horizon, he still demonstrates an attitude that could see him stand atop the podium once more.
Shaun White won halfpipe gold in PyeongChang.
Image credit: Getty Images
“I still feel pretty great. I think my tricks still hold up, and I’d be honoured to go again.
“That window of time is closing to continue to compete. Any athlete knows that, you have a finite amount of time. As that window narrows… the sweeter the moments.
“Everything’s kind of got this special meaning, like, ‘oh, this might be the last time I do this’, or ‘this might be the last time I’m training in this specific area’.
“Everything feels heightened, which is really, really fun.”
With a professional career that has spanned more than two decades, White is excited to hit the slopes, potentially for one final time, as one of the faces of Beijing.
“It’s been a minute - I’ve been doing this for a while,” he joked.
“Winning medals and things like that is the icing on the cake. But just to be able to go and [compete] again will be amazing.”
Stream the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games live and on demand on discovery+