This Flying Tomato has fully ripened into an Olympic and X-Games champion as well as an American pop culture icon.
World class snowboarder and skateboarder, Shaun White celebrates his 27th birthday today.
Though most of today’s sports news covers this past weekend’s US Tennis Open, MLB pennant races and the debut of the NCAA college football season, I’m happy to remember an incredible athlete who has dominated two lesser known sports atop a mountain or at a skate park.
With skill, poise and confidence, Shaun White has the potential to become the first athlete ever to compete in, and possibly win events, during the next Winter and Summer Olympic Games.
Already a two-time Winter Olympic gold medalist in snowboarding, this Flying Tomato also ranks as one of the premier skateboarders in the world.
Skateboarding has yet to become an officially sanctioned Summer Olympic event. However, many countries are lobbying the International Olympic Committee to include the sport in the next Summer Olympic Games in Brazil in 2016 where White would be a favorite.
A 10 time ESPY winner, White is probably the most famous snowboarder ever and has dominated the Winter X Games competition for more than a decade.
The Flying Tomato has won an amazing 12 Winter X games gold medals in the Superpipe and Slopestyle as well as six Winter Dew Games championships in the same events.
The 5’8″ and 145 lb. White captured gold medals in his signature event, the Halfpipe, in both the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy and in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada.
Better known for his accomplishments on the snow, White’s prowess on Vert skateboarding ramps is equally as impressive. The Flying Tomato’s excellence on the skateboard propelled him to gold medals in the Vert competition in the 2007 and 2011 Summer X Games. White’s Vert wins made him the only athlete to ever win championships in both the Summer and Winter X Games.
Expect this Flying Tomato to continue his assault on the snow as well as the ramps as a dual threat snowboarding and skateboarding champion.
Also, watch for more of Shaun in the media as we approach the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
No stranger in the press, White has appeared in movies with Justin Timberlake, featured in comical tv ads for BF Goodrich tires and chronicled in stories in Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone and Forbes.
Ironically, this Oakley endorser shares his special day with sitcom bad boy Charlie Sheen. But, in spite of their off-camera or off-the-slopes challenges, these two birthday boys boast legions of followers on Twitter.
Happy 27th Birthday, Flying Tomato. I’m anxious to see what you’ll do next on the slopes or in a skate park.
MIKE – aka Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!