The Rogue Ones Podcast: Shaun White

You may or may not be surprised to know that I have been a massive Shaun White fangirl for a very long time. I remember watching him for the first time in the 2006 games (his first gold)…the “flying tomato” they called him. Yes, I did mostly have a very large crush, but I was also completely “shook” (is this what the youth are saying?) by his abilities. I remember the Olympic games of 2010, sitting in my room as a sophomore in college watching him do his second run “for fun” (he didn’t even need it to win the gold) - STOMPING the Double McTwist 1260 at the end. It was electric; He was magnificent. I still cry thinking about it.

Interestingly, mere weeks prior, he had a pretty nasty fall in one of his X Games practice runs, severely hitting his head on the halfpipe and splitting his face open. I remember exactly what he said in his interview after immediately doing the entire run again, “I knew I needed to keep going and push through something like this.” This was impressed upon my young kid mind as I had just begun to experience adult circumstances that ended with me falling down earning some pretty painful wounds. Shaun’s words taught me that the sooner you get back up and try again, the closer you are to sticking the landing.

My conversation with Shaun White is one of triumph over one’s past - returning to something a little bruised and battered, but with more maturity and drive to accomplish what you started, and finish it with excellence.

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Leslie Eiler Thompson