Shaun White Confirms His Retirement, Says Beijing Winter Olympics Will Be His Final Competition

"I think the beautiful part about snowboarding is there's still a life to be had within the sport outside of competition," Shaun White said during a press conference on Saturday

Shaun White gets fitted in Nike ahead of Beijing 2022 on January 28, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Shaun White. Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty

Shaun White has officially announced his retirement from professional snowboarding.

On Saturday, the 35-year-old athlete revealed during a men's snowboard halfpipe press conference that the current 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, will mark his last Games, as well as his final competition overall.

"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. "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] gotten better."

Continuing his remarks, White — who has competed in four previous Games and won halfpipe gold medals at the 2006, 2010, and 2018 Olympics — noted, "In my mind ... I've decided this will be the last competition."

"After the Olympics, I don't compete much after the Games, cause it's just so much to get here, so much pressure is weighing on you, and then finally that relief is so wanted and needed," White explained. "And then I usually take the season after the Olympics off, just to focus and kind of get excited about things again ... but it will be my last competition, which is pretty special too."

White did note, however, that he doesn't plan on "leaving the sport" altogether anytime in the near future. "I think the beautiful part about snowboarding is there's still a life to be had within the sport outside of competition," he clarified.

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During the press conference, White said that he's been dealing with ankle, knee, and back issues, which he saw as "little signs" that convinced him to retire at the end of last year, per ESPN.

White, who also holds the record for most medals won by an individual athlete at the Winter X Games, said that he now feels as though he is leaving behind an impressive legacy in the sporting world.

"I've done so much in this sport," White said. "I hope that my riding speaks for itself. I'm always trying to push and progress and do the next biggest things and try to pick up with what trends are happening within the sport and be ahead of that curve."

The athlete previously chatted with PEOPLE last month, where he doubled down on the Dec. 2021 reports that the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing would be his last, noting that his achievements make it easier to walk away.

"It is one of those things where I have accomplished so much," said White. "I think it would be a different story if I had come close to the gold four times and this was my last chance ... Having such a long and amazing career, now at this point in my life, I can go back and go 'Wow, it's been incredible.' "

Next up, White is set to face his last Olympic competition during the men's snowboard halfpipe event, which sees qualification runs take place on Feb. 9 and the finals on Feb. 11.

To learn more about Team USA, visit Watch the Winter Olympics, now, and the Paralympics, beginning March 4, on NBC.

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