After much speculation and rumour, Shaun White will officially make his return to competitive skateboarding at next week's Vans Park Series in Vancouver, as he aims to eventually qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
"If I could make the Summer Olympic team, going from winter in Korea to summer in Japan, I mean it would probably be the ultimate for me", White explains in the Instagram video below.
It wouldn't be unreasonable to suggest that White is the most polarizing figure in the history of snowboarding, certainly in modern times at least, and his pursuit of further success in skateboarding will no doubt be met with similarly cynical reactions. It's nothing he hasn't dealt with before; he already has five X-Games medals in vert skateboarding, the most recent of which was gold in 2011. He's undisputedly talented on a vert ramp – it's honestly hard to argue with his gold medal runs, they were fantastic – but there's no vert discipline in Tokyo 2020. It will have to be the park discipline for White, which will be based on the Vans Park Series circuit, the series which will almost certainly act as a qualifying campaign for the Olympics. It's a totally different ball game.
Unlike the majority of other skaters competing, White has over a decade of Olympic-level training behind him, even if he is now the wrong side of 30. He knows what it takes to qualify and his ultra-competitive drive will make this an interesting story to follow. He's definitely got some tricks up his sleeve, too – he recently posted a video from Five Dock Skatepark during a brief trip to Sydney, which was the location for the Oceania Park Series qualifier this year, and he doesn't look in half bad shape. Is this good or bad news for skateboarding? Let us know your thoughts.
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