Olympian Shaun White’s adorable blaze of glory on Rolling Stone


During the Olympics, I avoided covering Shaun White not because I don’t care for him, but because talking about Shaun makes me feel dirty. Good-dirty. Because he’s one of those guys that does it for me, and I have no idea why. It’s not like he’s some Jon Hamm-esque heartthrob. It’s not like I look at photos of Shaun and think “I need to get with that.” Even looking at him shirtless on this new issue of Rolling Stone doesn’t really do anything for me sexually. But when I watch him interviewed, or see him break into one of those huge grins after rocking the half-pipe, and I want him. He’s f-cking adorable.

Shaun White has revolutionized snowboarding, won the big gold in Vancouver and lit his snowboard aflame, Hendrix-style, on the cover of the new issue of Rolling Stone, joining an elite club of athletes to appear on our cover not once, but twice. And as the focused, business savvy White tells it, a lot of his recent success on the half-pipe and off can be attributed to a new addition to his life: “Getting into music has changed my personality and my way of doing things,” he reveals to RS writer Vanessa Grigoriadis. “I”m far more open now.”

White, who began snowboarding at six and went pro at 13, has recently returned to one of his early loves — skateboarding — but he does more shredding on one of his three Les Pauls. Jimi Hendrix, Guns n’ Roses and Led Zeppelin are in regular rotation; “Whole Lotta Love” is his favorite-ever song. “I think guitar is the best thing in the world,” he says. “It’s the only thing where no matter what I do, I can’t do it all myself.”

The 23-year-old White is a bit of a loner, though. He practices his sport solo on a $500,000 private half-pipe Red Bull built him in Colorado and is known to march to the beat of his own disciplined drummer. While fellow competitors gather to watch snowboard or skate videos in their spare time, he opts out (”I’d rather do it, not watch it,” he explains). Olympic teammate Louie Vito even tried to unnerve him a bit by blasting Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.” in the van while White was setting his mental stereo to rock & roll.

For more on White’s unique journey, and to get inside the head of one of the greatest snowboarders in the sport’s young history, read the full story in our new issue, on sale at newsstands today.

[From Rolling Stone]

Jesus, he just has such a cute personality! Did you see him on Oprah last week? Even she was into him – she was flirting with him like crazy. What’s great about Shaun is that he’s totally game for everything, and he has this totally Zen-like approach to his fame and his fans. He never seems to even feel stress, and he never seems to get overwhelmed. It’s not humility, but its not arrogance either. He just seems confident in himself, in a really refreshing, nice way.

Sigh… and of course, he’s a redhead too. Love the gingers.

Oh, and my mom loves him too. She thinks he should cut his hair, but she would still love him for a son-in-law.



Cover and photos from Rolling Stone online, all photographs by Terry Richardson.

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43 Responses to “Olympian Shaun White’s adorable blaze of glory on Rolling Stone”

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  1. dee says:

    Olympic teammate Louie Vito even tried to unnerve him a bit by blasting Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.” in the van while White was setting his mental stereo to rock & roll.

    ^^this is the most disturbing part of this story. Anyone blasting any Miley Cyrus song should instantly be banned from the Olympics. Not too familiar with him since i didnt watch but I totally get his sex-appeal. Ill bet we’ll be seeing him in some kind of reality TV show soon.

  2. juiceinla says:

    I agree with @Dee!

    and I will take it one step further Vito should be banned just for owning Miley Cyrus…What a turd!!!

  3. mr. stinky fishface says:

    love him!

  4. Catherine says:

    He is an awesome athlete and seems to be a genuinely nice guy. As long as he keeps himself scandal-free, then I am all for him being a nut in mag pictures.

  5. Obvious says:

    love Shaun. again he’s adorable. he’s game for anything and that is totally hot.

  6. That Girl says:

    Mah HAWT meter just exploded!!! *sigh* Oh the things I would do to this man!

  7. the other mel says:

    I just adore this guy! Why? Kaiser summed it up so perfectly, I can’t add a thing! Love love love him.

  8. The Queen Bee says:

    I fully understand the undescribable attraction. He’s not conventionally handsome or even conventionally good looking, but he is damn cute and has a magnetic personality. After watching the Olympics I have a big crush on him.

    (I confess, I also have a thing for gingers.)

  9. Samantha says:

    Have always had a thing for these guys… X-Games, wild a$$ big air tail grabbing double flip doing sexy adrenaline pumpin mofos! Hot damn.

  10. Eden says:

    Perfectly said Kaiser….even Steven Colbert was enamored with him during their interview. He’s adorable and comfortable in his skin which makes him an interesting and enjoyable person to watch.
    His charisma seems to make other people feel lighter just being around him.
    He is totally and completely not my type and yet I’m into him on every level..go figure.

  11. Bodhi says:

    I feel the same way, y’all. My husband has a man-crush on him too!

  12. Praise St. Angie! says:

    yeah, this guy just exudes a very positive vibe…you can’t help but smile when he smiles.

    he was so much fun to watch too! when he gets that height and his red mane is flowing in the air, it’s certainly something to see.

  13. Chana says:

    Apparently I’m in the minority here. I hate that hair. Hate it with a passion.

    I’ve actually seen/been around him in real life while I was attempting to learn to snowboard some years ago before he became really famous.

    He is the biggest twat I’ve ever met. He thought he was so hipster cool with his obnoxiously long hair-God I wanted to slap him and his posse of douchey friends. They were messing around and flying by people on the bunny slopes and nearly toppling people over.

    They also cut in line at a coffee place and then tried to pretend like it was a joke when some dude in line told them that they needed to get to the back of the queue.

    Some people might be enamored by his public persona but he is exactly like every other Southern California, “I’m-so-hip-it-hurts”, “I-want-special-privileges” a-hole.

    Whoo. Sorry about the diatribe. I just can’t. I really can’t with this one.

  14. Stephie says:

    He’s awesome! Do love the “ginger’s” and happily have one of my own :)

    NBC and their ‘heres 2 min of Olympics and now 10min of commercials’ …almost missed his win but luckily they had the decency to replay it on the last night. Small mercy. Next time I’d like to see another network win the broadcast bid. Maybe they’ll air more and ad-less. (doubtful, but I can hope)

  15. me says:

    Bodhi…i guess i can understand your husband…im totally lesbian yet this guy looks hot even to me lol
    but i think should he cut the hair, the hotness would be gone, at least in my book…cos seriously i absolutely love his hair lol he seems a nice guy too, thats always good

  16. Trillion says:

    Chana, that sounds so much like every herd of teenage boys in a snowboard park/skateboard park/parking lot/etc. etc. so while I’m a bit disappointed in Shaun for not being better than that, I’m not surprised. Let’s hope he’s grown up since then. I’m sure he has. Kaiser: I totally totally agree w/ you. He’s like a sexy Jeff Spicolli that you don’t have to feel weird about liking because you know he’s sharp as hell beneath all that. I’m in awe of his pipe skills and just have to wonder how they translate in the… oh you know where I’m going with this.

  17. Anastasia says:

    I’ve only seen these pics, never heard of him before now, but give him some steroids and makeup and he’s Carrot Top. Shudder.

  18. Dorothy says:

    I will agree that he is kinda cute but WTF is up with the hair? He looks like a long lost Bee Gee!!!!

  19. kelbear says:

    Kaiser we feel exactly the same way about him!

  20. ien says:

    finally someone agrees w/ me about his hotness
    i f-cking love red hair. and besides that he seems like he has an awesome personality

  21. grace says:

    @Trillion I totally agree with you!
    He seems like a really nice guy though, but of course he was once a teenager, and teenagers behave like teenagers.
    I hope he has changed, because I wouldn’t like to think i have a crush on a jerk! lol

  22. Lantana says:

    I SO want him to be my son-in-law.

  23. Ohforf says:

    Am I the ONLY one who sees the Carrot Top-esque looks? I mean, I look at this guy, then I look at Carrot Top, then Eric Stoltz from Mask, and it’s like reverse evolution. Yeech.

  24. Ursaline says:

    Ha! I think he trends much more towards Jeff Spicoli than Carrot Top. That dude gives me the creeps.

  25. Kim says:

    Hes a loner because his teammates hate him. I used to like him and thought he was nice kid until alot of the interviews I saw during Olmypics about himn dropping out of scool etc. He has definitely gotten attitude. Dude your a snowboarding not a neuro surgeon.

  26. Kim says:

    Chana – Im a S Ca native and Ive never cut in line nor would i ever. I do agree w/ you that Shaun has attitude but I promnise not all S Ca think they are hippier than thou =) I hate that his bad attitude gives So Cal a bad name.

  27. Rianna says:

    i dont know why i like him. i dont even like red heads but i want to do all kinds of nasty things with him. what is wrong with me? lol

  28. Mary says:

    Oh if I were only 30 years younger lol…

  29. elina says:

    omg, this is so crazy! i was just thinking how he looks super hawt in those pics (and in general) but feel a little guilty for some reason lol.

  30. ThunderC*nt says:

    No thanks.

  31. EMV says:

    I guess I’m in the minority…as usual. I do not find him attractive at all. He is a great athlete, but seeing him shirtless doesn’t do it for me. He also seems a little too “hipster” like most skate/surf/snowboarding “kids”.

  32. Persistent Cat says:

    I’m with the minority, I find him so incredibly ugly, I can’t stand looking at his face. He’s been on the cover of Rolling Stone before and I was annoyed then and I’m annoyed now. I think I’ll just leave that issue in the mailbox.

    And I’m sorry to say but I could never be attracted to a red-headed man (except Prince Harry but that’s just for his title). I just think, “are his pubes that colour?” They likely are and I don’t want to see that.

  33. Jules says:

    I just noticed he is shooting lighter fluid out of his crotch in that top picture–hahaha!!!

    I didn’t get the fuss about him until the Olympics. WOW! Anyone who can learn to do that and still be alive is superman. I love him.

  34. Michelle says:

    I am a sucker for a red-head and he is RED-HOT!!

  35. CB Rawks says:

    I just love this guy!

  36. Molly says:

    He’s definately cool!

  37. lucy2 says:

    I always think Carrot Top, ew! and then have to make myself look again and see that he is nowhere near as ugly as Carrot Top. I think he was awesome at the Olympics and in the few interviews I saw seemed like a nice enough guy, but I can’t say I find him attractive.

  38. Dan says:

    Shirtless? Squirtgun pee pee shot in American flag pants?

  39. Carman says:

    Don’t even try to diss Louie Vito. If you want to meet a person who has the COMPLETE package of skills, personality and looks – then look no further than Louie Vito. He stole the show on Dancing With The stars with his charm. And trust me – he doesn’t own any Miley Cyrus music – he did it as a joke and btw he and Shaun are good friends.

  40. BW says:

    Thanks for saying that Carman, now I don’t have to! Somebody had to put in a good word for Louie, he’s a good guy! I don’t know Louie, but I really liked his personality and perseverence on DWTS. I also saw him interviewed on the Olympics where he didn’t medal, but he came in 4th overall. So he’s no slouch when it comes to snowboarding, either!

  41. Yuki says:

    ^ at the comments right above me: I know right? and seriously, if you guys know Louie Vito, he listens more to rap/hip-hop than that Miley Cyrus crap. he just did it to joke on Shaun. as for Shaun being a douche…

    @ Chana: well, he WAS a teenager, right? and everyone talking about him now is all saying that he’s a really nice, laid-back guy and everyone can like. this Shaun that everyone seems to talk about now is the 23-year old adult Shaun. yes, a lot has changed since then. I heard from some people that went to his Dew Tour that while in a middle of a conversation with his friend, some fans came up to him, and Shaun excused himself and took time to talk to his fans and sign autographs. a snowboarder I came across once talked about shredding with shredding with Shaun once. he didn’t know he was sitting next to Shaun on the snow lift ’til Shaun looked at him, lol. and then Shaun asked him, “hey, wanna go shred?” just how sweet is that?

    @ Kim: as for dropping out of school, what do you mean by dropping out of school? that he glorified being a high school drop-out? because from what I read, he didn’t really drop out of school. he was in an independent study program. and he told the interviewer that he didn’t want to be that loser that chose to be a high school drop-out. so even though he already has enough money to not even need a diploma or a degree or whatever, Shaun decided to go finish his studies anyway. he said this in ESPN:

    “I thought there’d be all these other kids saying, ‘Look at Shaun, he didn’t go to high school,’ ” he says. “I didn’t want that, and I didn’t want to see people on a plane and have to tell them I dropped out. That’s not cool no matter what. But there were times when I didn’t want to do it. I’m in a hotel room in Japan with all these flashing lights outside, and I’m supposed to close the curtains and study algebra?”

  42. Shaun White is awesome! I can’t believe Red Bull built him that crazy pipe in CO. The other riders are gonna have to train even harder.

  43. Yer Rumfelt says:

    Interesting article.. Would love to see more of this.. Awesome blog btw! Subscribed