Shaun White poised to take gold in Vancouver

Although snowboarding has only been an Olympic sport since the 1998 Winter Games, many are familiar with the sport’s star, Shaun White. An announcement Monday, January 25 confirmed that White will compete in the 2010 winter games held in Vancouver, B.C.

White, who turned professional at the age of 13, has become a poster-child for the sport in America. He has even launched his own videogame titled “Shaun White Snowboarding: World Stage” which launched late last year. White tweeted last July that the game was, “lookin’ really good.” The snowboarder took a personal interest in the games development, even recording his own voice-overs.

The redhead earned his reputation in the sport by winning several X Games, and won gold in Torino, Italy in 2006. Since winning the 2010 Sprint U.S. snowboarding grand prix series, White will head to Aspen for the Winter X Games before finally making the trek to Vancouver.

“The Flying Tomato,” as he is affectionately known, won gold in Torino for the men’s halfpipe competition. Fellow USA teammate Daniel Kass was forced to settle for silver, while Finland’s Makku Koski earned bronze.

There is a good chance that White will earn top spot on the podium again this year. His two main competitors, Kevin Pearce and Danny Davis, will not be present in Vancouver due to injury. Pearce dropped out with serious head injury. Davis was just recently hurt in a quad bike accident, and is unable to compete.

The games are officially scheduled to begin February 15. The qualifying round for 2010 Men’s halfpipe starts Feb. 17 at 1 p.m. PST. The finals will be held the same day at 7:15 p.m. PST.