Can “The Animal” grab the only major gold he’s never won?

By TC Kirkham

When it comes to action sports, he’s the golden boy. But can “The Animal” grab the ONLY brass ring he’s never won? 

If you think of action sports today, you usually think of one name – Shaun White. He’s done it all when it comes to action sports, and in two different seasons. He’s a two-time Olympic gold medalist in Snowboard Superpipe. He’s the most decorated athlete in Winter X Games history, having won gold in both Superpipe and Slopestyle more than once as well as his share of silver and bronze. He’s won the Summer X Games gold in Skateboard Vert. And he’s won the coveted Dew Cup in Skateboard Vert as well. 

The only title he’s never held – and the one he’s determined to get this year – is that of Skateboard Vert World Champion.

White missed the ISF World Skateboard Championships in Boston last year by choice – he decided to take the skate season off to let his body heal from some nagging snowboarding injuries, and to concentrate on preparation for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.  Now with his body back in shape and his second Gold Medal probably stuffed in his sock drawer, he’s set his sights on landing that elusive final medal. Once again, the World Championships are in Boston this year, and I will be there to watch White try to land the last huge honor he’s never won.

White’s competition is staggering in skateboard vert, so it’s not going to be an easy win. Sometimes, it seems as if White glides to victory on snowboard, with only Kevin Pearce and Danny Davis truly giving White a real run for his money in the past two seasons. But their friendly rivalry never had the real chance to be put to the test in Vancouver, due to both Pearce and Davis being injured (in Pearce’s case, critically; see below) just weeks before the Olympics.

But enter the vert arena, and it’s a whole new ball game. Sure, White has earned his cred in skateboard vert the hard way, but he no doubt knows it won’t be a rout on his part. A dozen people stand in his way, and he knows to win that elusive championship, he has to run the score gauntlet and post higher scores than PLG, Bucky Lasek, Bob Burnquist, Adam Taylor, Alex Perelson, Rob Lorifice, Andy MacDonald and whomever else might be at the top of the ramp waiting to drop in with him during the finals.

Stories all over the internet have been saying that White has worked off the vert rust and is really pushing hard to go all the way in skate vert this year, and no doubt with “The Animal” back in the vert mix, it’s gonna be a REALLY fun season…

The ISF World Skateboard Championships will be held as the first stop on the 2010 Dew Tour at Boston’s TD Garden, June 25-26.

 ***

One other quickie before I head out this time…let me say it’s GREAT NEWS to know that Kevin Pearce is back home in Vermont, just over five months after the freak accident that left him with a severe brain trauma and fighting for his life on New Years’ Eve. Kevin looks great, and the docs even say he’ll be driving before the end of the year, and may be back on a snowboard sooner than most people think. A few short-term memory problems and a bit of a vision problem still remain, but with support of family, friends, and fans, he’s already progressed in his recovery far more quickly than anyone could have imagined…

Click here to watch Kevin Pearce’s recent interview on the Today Show.

More from the TCXone (Spelled with an “X” for “X-Treme”, of course) next time!

TC Kirkham is proud to be the oldest Expression Session blogger. He’s a lifelong fan of extreme sports and idolized the original Dogtown crew as a teenager. When not blogging about action sports, he runs blogs on movies, music, and more on Popcorn N Roses.

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