Shaun White Says He's Thinking About Competing as a Skateboarder at the 2020 Summer Olympics
Shaun White might be personally welcoming skateboarding to the Olympics!
The 32-year-old professional snowboarder and skateboarder revealed on the Today show Tuesday that he is considering going for the gold in skateboarding at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, which will be the sport’s debut at the games.
But first things first: He’s going to see how he does at the skateboarding world championships this upcoming September in Brazil.
“I’ve been watching the competitions lately and got really inspired. I’ve been doing a lot of skating myself this summer,” said White. “I thought it’d be amazing to go compete at the world championships in Brazil in September.”
“It’s such a big decision,” he added of deciding whether to try and head to Tokyo next summer. “I’ve been having so much fun just skating around and I got so inspired. I was like, ‘Why don’t I test the waters, compete a little and see what happens?’ So after that, I’ll probably make the big announcement [about] what I’m gonna do.”
The longtime athlete said he has “been just as much of a skateboarder” as a snowboarder — the latter sport has won him three gold medals at the Winter Olympics — and he’d “love to take part in” the Olympic debut of skateboarding if given the chance.
“First steps are first. We’ll see what happens,” he said with a laugh. “[It] was a goal in my life to really pursue skateboarding and snowboarding and try to be the best in both.”
White’s comments come more than a year after he clinched his third Olympic gold medal during the men’s halfpipe in PyeongChang, South Korea — hours after which he told Today that going for skateboarding at the 2020 summer event “would be a dream come true.”
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The national U.S. skateboarding team — consisting of eight men and eight women, ESPN reported — was chosen in March of this year. According to nbcolympics.com, the four Olympic medal events will be men’s park, men’s street, women’s park, and women’s street.
ESPN reported that Josh Friedberg, the CEO of USA Skateboarding, said during the March introduction of the new team that White is “a real interesting case” and “amazing skateboarder” who has “been practicing and skating a lot more on that mission right now.”
“The park discipline doesn’t necessarily line up with his strength in skateboarding, which is vert skating, but you never count a person like Shaun White out,” Friedberg added. “He is the ultimate competitor. So, if there’s anybody who could get it together and qualify for the Olympics, Shaun could potentially do that.”
To learn more, visit teamusa.org. The Tokyo Olympics begin in one year on NBC.