Char Adams
February 15, 2018 12:18 PM

Kudos from one Olympic record-breaker to another.

On Wednesday morning (Tuesday night stateside), White snagged his third Olympic gold medal in the men’s halfpipe — rebounding both from a disappointing display at the 2014 Sochi Games and a crash New Zealand in October. And the historic win caught the attention of another Olympic great: decorated swimmer Michael Phelps.

“Let’s go @shaunwhite !!! Way to go man!!” the retired swimmer tweeted this week just after he and his wife welcomed their second child. “Nothing like a good comeback right?? Redemption always feels great!! #usa🇺🇸#OlympicGames2018.”

In response, White, 31, tweeted: “You said it! Really enjoying this moment. Thanks for the love🙏🏻.”

White suffered a disappointing defeat at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, failing to medal during the men’s halfpipe. As for Phelps, he dominated at the 2012 London Olympics (which he said would be his last Games), but hit a few rough spots after the event. He spent 45 days in rehab following his second DUI arrest.

His triumphant return at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro proved to be a chance at redemption for the athlete. And White has said he understand Phelps’ journey on a personal level.

“I watched a Michael Phelps documentary, videos on him and him just going to the pool every single day, like that life, I can imagine, can get tough,” White told NBC Olympics. “Same for me [before Sochi]. The same things that got me excited and motivated weren’t really working anymore.”

 

Michael Phelps (left) and Shaun White
Simon Bruty /Sports Illustrated/Getty; Marianna Massey/Getty

However, his passion for the sport seems to have returned in full force.

Keep Following PEOPLE’s Complete Coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

White sobbed uncontrollably as he embraced his family after scoring an impressive 97.75 in his final run and clinching the top spot.

Shaun White and his mom, Cathy
NBC Olympics/Twitter

”Oh my God! I’m so happy! All that work. I’m so happy!” he said as he cried into the arms of his mother, Cathy.

“It just means the world to me to come back from the defeat at Sochi to find the love and passion… and be able to deliver a run like this,” White told reporters at a news conference later Wednesday.

RELATED VIDEO: Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun White Calls Sexual Harassment Allegations ‘Gossip’

Like Phelps, White has also had a bumpy road since he received his first Olympic medal.

While White has received praise for his win, his fourth Olympic stint has been plagued by criticism over a 2016 sexual harassment lawsuit that resurfaced earlier this week. In the suit, drummer Lena Zawaideh, who played with White in the rock band Bad Things, claimed he had “repeatedly sexually harassed her and forced his authoritarian management style on her for over seven years.”

Zawaideh and White eventually reached an undisclosed settlement in May 2017, according to the Washington Post.

“Representing Team USA at the Olympics in a sport that I love is a true honor, and I was thrilled to win gold,” White said in a statement to PEOPLE. “I regret my behavior of many years ago and am sorry that I made anyone — particularly someone I considered a friend — uncomfortable.”

“I have grown and changed as a person, as we all grow and change, and am proud of who I am today,” White continued.

The 2018 Winter Olympics are airing live on NBC. To learn more, visit teamusa.org.

You May Like

EDIT POST