Shaun White is a National Treasure

Amidst the NFL and MBL trades that have dominated sports headlines this week, ESPN’s full-scale coverage of the X-Games has gone relatively unnoticed. That was until Shaun White, aka the Ginja Ninja, dropped in on the vert ramp.

Sure, White is a beast on a snowboard, winning back-to-back Olympic gold medals (2006, 2010) in the Men’s Half pipe to go along with 11 X-Game Golds. In the previous Olympic half-pipe competition, his ridiculous power and vertical height distanced him from the other competition, and after he threw down the double mctwist, it was all over:

USA, baby! We need to create more snowboarding events just so White can go all Phelps on Canada and those inscrutable northern Europeans. In the US we call long distance cross country skiing and firing a rifle “hunting”. You don’t see Nugent asking for a gold medal.

But apparently the venue or surface doesn’t matter. Just give Shaun White a board and he will kill it. This weekend, he showed his board versatility, this time on the Men’s Vert competition. Like his domination of the snowboard half-pipe, White was just going bigger, and hitting the toughest of tricks. In this last run, he overcame Pierre Luc Gagnon, a rival french Canadian looking for a four-pete in the men’s vert.

Behind PLG by a few points, White had one minute left to put together a flawless run and wow the judges. That’s when the Ginja Ninja dropped in on this epic run that drew the praise of Mr. Tony Hawk, and brought glory back to USA skateboarding:

That last one is was a healflip-variable-front-side-540, or as Tony Hawk put it “healflipinversitdehahshoooooooooooooooohhhhhh”. It defies physics. His body’s going one way, his board flips the other way and magically it somehow appears below his feet for a perfect landing. That trick was the icing on the cake. It put him over the top, and helped White steal gold for the USA. Shaun White is a national treasure.

For his next trick, Shaun White will be dressing as a bald eagle and jumping the debt ceiling this Tuesday. While it won’t help our nation from avoiding an inevitable ratings downgrade or economic stagnation, it will help to remind Americans of how out of control our balance sheet has gotten. Save us Shaun White.


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