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Shaun White appears to be the most laid back Olympian the world has ever seen. He also makes no bones about the fact that yeah, I dreamed it would be this way and it is. I saw it all and then I made it happen. Just like that. It doesn’t even sound like he’s bragging, he’s just sayin’, just sayin’ how it is, and how it is how he dreamed it.
White obviously came into the games as more than the gold medal favorite. He might as well have already had the gold around his neck, people were just waiting to see what kind of a show the world would get in exchange for the Olympic hardware. In an interview with Jay Leno, White talked about his beacon-like hair and the impossibility of hiding, giving his hair a sassy flip (by the way, if he sold hair products I would probably buy them–if my hair had that kind of body, let me tell you…). He recounted stories of fans from all corners of the world stopping him in Vancouver, “people from Norway would be like, ‘You’re the one to beat, right?'”
Imagine that he is affecting a Nordic accent.
Asked about his second gold medal Olympic experience, White said that it was like “being able to relive the wildest experience of your life all over again… right down to the face mask I was wearing” (which, PS, is kind of weird and bandit-like).
Of course the question that every interviewer has for Shaun is about that second trip down the pipe– the one that he didn’t really have to take since the gold medal was already sewn up by his first score. Again, the phrase, “just like I dreamed it” makes its appearance right before statements like, “I’d always pictured this moment” of having that victory lap and wanting to do something outstanding, “and I just thought it was time to lay it down.”
We all know what followed.
“I’m the only one to be doing it. I’m proud it say it’s my best trick.”
White showed the world his super secret double McTwist 1260, ” [his] best friend and worst enemy” for the most astounding of victory laps. Chris Collinsworth named the moment his fourth favorite of the games, exclaiming that it was “a little bit like going to an NBA slam dunk contest… it was outrageous!”
What else did Shaun White dream? He dreamed of his second Rolling Stone cover, of course: “To be honest, I had dreamed that … What would I do this time?” So he has channeled his inner Jimi Hendrix. He lit his snowboard on fire (instead of his guitar) and just went crazy– “it was bizarre.”
Yeah, a little.
Speaking of guitar… remember that time he air guitared to the “Star-Spangled Banner” at his medal ceremony? George Lopez brought it up during his late night interview with White, playing a clip and noting that some people had been upset.
“It was funny because I was caught in the moment… I think I got lost in the moment and was just feeling it.”
And then Lopez gave him a guitar and White played a few bars of the national anthem, saying “I dabble, I dabble,” regarding his musical prowess.
Lopez decided to close by simply stating, “You’re badass.”
White has also been the only person– to my knowledge– who has illuminated the design conceit behind the Vancouver 2010 medals. Apparently they were all cut from the one large picture, sort of like puzzle pieces that one could in theory fit together to recreate the whole. I have to say that this information really improves my reception of the Vancouver medals which are otherwise fairly unaesthetic.
Other revelatory news comes to us from White’s online video interview with Rolling Stone. It is obviously about his hair, and let’s face it that is some really nice luscious lady hair– it just is. And apparently that is just the way the hair goes: “I don’t really do much to it… the stylists [for shows he goes on] are always like ‘Ooooohh, look at that hair!’ I’m running this new product called ‘water,’ it’s right out of the tap… I don’t really do much to it, I just let it go.”
If I just let my hair go… it looks nothing like that. Or like ‘presentable’ even.
On the upside, based on the myriad of interviews that have touched on the hair, I know that I am not the only one who is jealous. Charmaine is too.
But back to snowboarding.
White says that he will for sure see his quadriennial fans in Sochi. With a sport as new as snowboarding it’s hard to figure a timeline for White’s career: “I’m not sure [how long it is possible to keep doing this]… I’m gonna find out I guess.”
So to clarify, we’re going for a third Rolling Stone cover here folks, as long as things stay fun: “I always just imagined that I would stop competing when it wasn’t fun anymore… there’s no way I could do it unless I really wanted it.”
Start brainstorming for that third cover, OK? Great.
Oh, and he has a Wheaties box too. No big deal.