‘So happy to be here': Snowboarding legend Shaun White shares selfies from across Games as he becomes Tokyo 2021 superfan

‘These girls are so inspiring!!’ the three-time Olympic gold winner wrote

Nathan Place
New York
Thursday 05 August 2021 00:37

Sky Brown wins Olympic bronze medal in women’s skateboarding park final at Tokyo 2020

American snowboarder Shaun White has posted a smiling selfie with two of skateboarding’s newest champions: Sakura Yosozumi and Kokona Hiraki.

“These girls are so inspiring!!” White wrote. “Congratulations Sakura Yosozumi, Kokona Hiraki and Sky Brown.”

Yosozumi won gold in Wednesday’s skateboarding final, while Hiraki and Brown won silver and bronze, respectively.

White has plenty of medals himself. The 34-year-old athlete, who is also a pro skateboarder, has three Olympic gold medals to his name, all in snowboarding. He also has the highest number of gold medals from the X Games and Olympics of any snowboarder in history.

Though White has had enormous success as a skateboarder as well, he announced last year that he would not try out for the skateboarding events in Tokyo. With the Winter Olympics coming up in 2022, the athlete chose to focus on his snowboarding.

“The decision became less about going for skate and more about, am I willing to walk away from snow?” White told the Associated Press in 2020. “It just was going in that direction, and I didn’t feel comfortable with it and I can’t wholeheartedly choose this path with what I’ve got going on snow.”

Instead, White is in Tokyo as a fan – and seems to be thoroughly enjoying it.

“Summer Olympics Tokyo!!!!” the athlete tweeted at the start of the Games. “So excited to be here to cheer on @TeamUSA and give everyone a behind-the-scenes look at the Summer Olympics!!!”

But that doesn’t mean White has put his skateboard away. In one tweet, he can be seen rolling up the ramps at Tokyo’s Olympic skate park.

“So happy to be here @olympics @teamusa,” he wrote under the photos.

Upon meeting the sport’s new champions, White seemed happy to pass the torch to the three (extremely) young medalists.

Hiraki, 12, has become the youngest Olympic medalist of any nation in 85 years. Brown, 13, is Great Britain’s youngest Olympic medalist ever.

Brown grew up in Japan skating with both Hiraki and Yosozumi. The three champions have treated each other with remarkable sportsmanship.

“I thought I was going to get it on the first and second run so I was a little shocked and a little ... ‘Am I going to make it?’” Brown said after her bronze-winning performance. “But Sakura said ‘you’ve got this, Sky, we know you’re gonna make it’, and that really made me feel better.”

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