Shaun White to Retire After 2022 Olympics, His "Last Competition"

Shaun White plans to retire from professional snowboarding after the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games. Find out what he said about his career plans at a press conference at the event.

By Corinne Heller Feb 05, 2022 4:38 PMTags

Olympian Shaun White is ready to retire from competitive snowboarding after the current 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

On Saturday, Feb. 5, the U.S. athlete and world's most famous snowboarder made a major career announcement during his fifth Olympic Games.

"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 at the men's snowboard halfpipe press conference, held in the city of Zhangjiakou. "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 better."

The 35-year-old athlete, who won halfpipe gold medals at the 2006, 2010 and 2018 Olympics, has signaled before that this would be his last Olympics. But at the press conference, he went further.

"I think this is will be my last- well, it will be my last competition," he said, "which is pretty special too."

2022 Beijing Winter Olympics: Candid Photos

White said he had lingering knee and back issues that had forced him to pull out of competitions and miss training, Reuters reported, quoting him as saying, "It's this and it's that, all these things are major things that brought me to this conclusion. He also said other riders' tricks were getting "heavier and heavier."

White's last Olympic competition will be the upcoming men's snowboard halfpipe event. Qualification runs take place Wednesday, Feb. 9 and the finals will be held Friday, Feb. 11.

Carl Court/Getty Images

Despite his retirement from competitive snowboarding, White also said at the press conference, "I definitely don't think I'll be leaving the sport anytime soon. I think the beautiful part about snowboarding is there's still a life to be had within the sport, outside of competition...I'm excited for that next chapter."

In addition to being the world's most decorated snowboarder with three Olympic gold medals, White also holds the record for most medals won by an individual athlete at the Winter X Games, with 18 medals.

"I've done so much in this sport," White said at the Olympics press conference. "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...I'm most proud of staying on top of the sport that's ever-changing for as long as I have done. That's legacy performance."

Amy Sussman/Getty Images for USOPC

White previously told that this would be his final Olympic Games, and he echoed the same sentiment in a remote interview on NBC's Today show Friday, Feb. 4.

"The more I talk to people, they keep trying to inspire me to keep going," he said. "But I've had an amazing run and I'm so thankful for everything I've achieved and I'm ready to pass the torch onto the next generation."

He also revealed the sweet 2022 Olympics parting gift given to him by his girlfriend, actress Nina Dobrev.

"She made this incredible video of all my friends and family," he said. "Really incredible."

Due to strict COVID-19 health protocols, foreign spectators have been barred from the 2022 Olympics. "I wish she could have been here," White said. "She was trying her hardest to sneak in somehow. But, you know, she's been so supportive and so wonderful, really just in my corner every step of the way. Hi Nina! Thank you for everything."

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