Shaun White has accomplished nearly everything in snowboarding - two Olympic gold medals, half-dozen X Games - making him the most recognizable action sport athlete on the planet. In the year leading up to Sochi, White turned a corner in his career - both on and off the mountain. After cutting his hair for charity, White started 2013 with a clean look for the U.S. Grand Prix. Later that summer, his newly formed band, Bad Things, played Lollapalooza. White, who's become known among his fellow snowboarders as someone who likes to ride alone, was in the spotlight for his "private" course in Australia. White ended the year on a bittersweet note as he began his quest for a third Olympics, reaching the podium in the first two selection events, but neither was a first place finish. He came away with re-injuring the ankle he hurt in New Zealand. Now that the Winter Olympics are upon us, White can put all of this behind him and look to making history. The 27-year-old is attempting to become the first American man to win a gold medal in the same event in three consecutive Winter Games. He's also attempting to win a gold in the new slopestyle event.
The not-so-private course
GoPro built White a private halfpipe and slopestyle course in the mountains of Australia. His previous course was so private, White had to be airlifted into it.
White loses at Breckenridge
White went into the iON Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, Colo., as the favorite. However, after a fall that injured his ankle, White placed second in the event behind fellow American Greg Bretz.
Three is the magic number
White, who's looking to win double gold in Sochi in halfpipe and the new slopestyle event, slides off a rail during the U.S. Grand Prix slopestyle snowboarding finals on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, at Copper Mountain. White finished third in the event. He pulled out of the halfpipe competition due to an ankle injury sustained the week before.
White looks at his competition as a third place finisher in the men's slopestyle finals during the World Cup U.S. Grand Prix slopestyle snowboarding finals at Copper Mountain. From left, Norway's Torstein Horgmo (silver) and Staale Sandbech (gold).
Revealing his secret
Here, White flies off a jump during the World Cup U.S. Grand Prix snowboarding qualifications on Dec. 19, 2012, at Copper Mountain. On a video posted to a sponsor's YouTube site Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, White showed off a new trick he's been practicing on his private halfpipe. The frontside double-cork 1440 that resembles his Double McTwist 1260, but adds another half revolution of twist inside the two head-over-heels flips.