Roger and Cathy White are the parents of the snowboarding phenom and crossover Olympic star Shaun White, who is known as “The Flying Tomato.” They also both have interesting athletic stories in their backgrounds.
White’s parents are central to his biography; the story of the family living in a van so Shaun and his brother, Jesse, could snowboard is legendary. White, already a two-time Olympic gold medalist in snowboarding, was seeking more gold in PyeongChang at the 2018 Winter Olympics. He is also a professional skateboarder.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Shaun’s Mother, Cathy White, Says She Doesn’t Like Him Snowboarding
USA’s gold medalist Shaun White celebrates with his mother Cathy White after the Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe final at Cypress Mountain during the Vancouver Winter Olympics, north of Vancouver on February 17, 2010.
Although the world is dazzled by her son’s snowboarding abilities, Cathy White is more hesitant, largely out of the fear that Shaun could become injured (which, in the past, he has been). According to Biography.com, Shaun White, who was born in 1986, “began skateboarding after following his older brother (Jesse) to the nearby YMCA, and took up snowboarding at the age of six.”
“I don’t know where it came from because I don’t like him snowboarding,” Cathy said of her son’s snowboarding fame. His mother has a right to be worried. White ended up in intensive care in 2017 after a crash injured him. However, he is back on the slopes in South Korea. Furthermore, White had a congenital heart defect when born that required surgeries, according to Biography.com.
At the same time, White’s mother has described the positives of snowboarding. “We all ride together and take the same lines. Snowboarding together is such a great bonding experience for us,” she said.
2. The Family Lived in a Van at the Base of a Mountain
Cathy White, the mother of USA’s gold medalist Shaun White, displays a bag with a picture of her son as she attends the the medal ceremony of the men’s snowboard halfpipe event of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver on February 18, 2010.
White was a professional snowboarder since age 14, and he was a professional skateboarder since age 17. He was regarded as a “child prodigy,” according to The New York Times.
According to The Times, the family “slept in the van at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains on winter weekends so the children could snowboard. They brushed their teeth in resort bathrooms.”
The family, which lived near San Diego, California when White was a kid, built a skateboard ramp in the backyard for Jesse. “When my career in snowboarding started out, it was my entire family driving around in a van, staying at the mountains and trying to make it happen,” Shaun White told The New York Times.
According to his website bio, “the White family began making the three-hour trek to the San Bernardino Mountains every chance they could.”
“My mom would put me, my brother, and sister in …read more