Shaun White pushes forward on Olympic skateboarding track
NEW YORK (AP) — Shaun White is pressing forward with plans to shoot for the Summer Olympics in skateboarding.
White said Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show that he will compete at world championships in September “and see what happens” before deciding whether to try to earn a spot on the U.S. team for skateboarding’s Olympic debut next summer in Tokyo.
The three-time Olympic snowboarding champion has won five of his 23 X Games medals on the summer side in skateboarding.
But when snowboarding became an Olympic sport, and with no similar option on the Summer Games side, White focused on the Winter Games.
He announced last summer that skateboarding was in his plans but only competed in one contest last year.
Street and park skateboarding are on the 2020 Olympics program, neither of which is considered White’s specialty.
He is expected to focus on the park version, which mixes vertical jumps like those seen on the halfpipe with street features like rails and stairs.
Josh Friedberg, the CEO of USA Skateboarding, said last month “the question we always get is the Shaun White question.”
“The answer is, if anyone can do it, it’s Shaun, but he has a long, hard road in front of him,” Friedberg said.
White, 32, has acknowledged as much, and stopped short of saying Tuesday that he’s all-in for a run at the Olympics.
“I thought, why don’t I test the waters, compete a little and see what happens,” he said. “After that I’ll probably make the big announcement of what I’m going to do.”
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