Shaun White Interview
How well do you know the biggest action sports star on the planet? Simon caught up with the red-haired superstar for a little Q&A session at the AST Dew Tour!
Simon: You've been in the spotlight ever since you were a kid, how tough was it to balance your career and school?
Shaun White: Think about being 13 in a hotel in Japan and the lights are flashing and you’re friends are all, ‘hey lets go out.’ And you’re trying to teach yourself algebra.
Simon:Ha! That must be difficult. What is the toughest thing about being a two-sport athlete?
Shaun White: The hardest thing for me is that I have to bounce back and forth between sports. It’s hardest to stop doing one thing and switch to the next sport. The hardest is just to kind of switch gears. During that whole time [snowboarding] the guys who are going to be competing against me were practicing, just skating.
Simon: Snowboarding season is here, what are your thoughts about going back to the snow?
Shaun White: Snow is always fun just because I’ve been doing it longer. I just kind of know the whole snow thing. I know what to expect, I know the competitors, I know the mountains.
Simon: As far as skateboarding goes, who would you say is your biggest competiton?
Shaun White: I’d say Pierre [Luc Gagnon] and Bucky [Lasek] are my biggest rivals, but probably Pierre.
Simon: Do you have any superstitions?
Shaun White: I’m not really superstitious, but I just don’t like to change things. In 2006, while training for the Olympics, I kept riding to the same song (Back in Black by ACDC) so I kept it going and kept riding to it. I had to keep it going and it worked. I have been on a tear this year, and I have been wearing the same shorts in each finals. Now I have a huge hole in the back of them and it looks like I’m about to lose them. I’m glad this is the last stop so I can finally stop wearing them.
Simon: Do you get nervous before events? Do you feel there is pressure for your to win?
Shaun White: There’s always been pressure on me. I’ve always felt that every time I show up at an event. There’s extra pressure on my performance to be better than everyone else. I don’t know if its’ real or just a pressure I put on myself. It always fuels me to learn tricks faster. I know I only have so much time.
Simon: What is you advice for kids who want to follow in your footsteps?
Shaun White: The way I started was I just kept going for one reason, which was I loved the sport. If you just keep going at it the way you normally would you will eventually make it big. It’s all about passion. The sponsors will come and so will the fame, but it’s all about passion.