Winter X Games 16: Shaun White's Absence Casts Shadow over Games

Dan Renfro@danrenfroCorrespondent IIIJanuary 28, 2012

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 17:  Shaun White of the United States reacts after winning the gold medal in the Snowboard Men's Halfpipe final on day six of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Cypress Snowboard & Ski-Cross Stadium on February 17, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. White won the gold medal with a score in his previous run.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Shaun White's absence from the Winter X Games is a shame.

He is the most polarizing athlete in the games, and he generates more interest in snowboarding than just about everyone else combined.

That isn't a knock against the other athletes or the sport. It's simply a fact.

White is one of the greatest athletes in the world, and he brings more to snowboarding than anybody brings his or her respective sport. In the Bloomberg BusinessWeek Power 100, White ranked as the eight most powerful athlete in the world.

Even though he's not as powerful as other athletes, he dwarfs any other snowboarder.

Essentially, White is one of the main reasons people tune into the X Games. Unfortunately, he was forced to pull out of the snowboarding slopestyle.

Although it's not his best event, White still had the ability to do well. With the injury, though, he was unable to even compete.

And that's where the problem lies.

When White doesn't compete, the Winter X Games lose their luster.

White is so great, and people simply want to see him on a snowboard. With him out, it just doesn't seem right. There have been some good performances, but nothing as memorable as what White can generate.

White is a legendary competitor, and when he is missing, things seem off.

With his absence, there seems to be an odd shadow over the WX this year.

Hopefully, White will return and have something special for everyone.