Shaun White Confirms He Plans to Compete in 2018 Winter Olympics

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIFebruary 17, 2016

Shaun White, of the United States, looks at the scoreboard after competing in the men's snowboard halfpipe final at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. White placed fourth. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Snowboarding extraordinaire Shaun White confirmed his plans to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in an exclusive interview with Access Hollywood on Wednesday.

"Of course," White said when asked whether he'd compete in the Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, per Access Hollywood's Erin Biglow. "Oh yeah. 2018! That's the plan. ... It was already in my head from before. It takes a little time to get back in the swing of things."

White won gold medals in the halfpipe competitions in 2006 and 2010. He didn't make the podium in 2014, finishing fourth at the Sochi Games.

"Nothing's more motivating than a loss," he said.

The 29-year-old also asserted his longevity will be an asset in PyeongChang, saying, "It seems easier now, just because I'm more focused. I'm more aware of my strengths and weaknesses, and how to practice more consistently."

White said he got a trainer for the first time recently and is following a stricter diet after "winging it" during his younger years.

As was evident in the 2014 Winter Games, there are legitimate rivals for White to contend with this next time around. Japanese phenom Ayumu Hirano won the halfpipe silver in Sochi at age 15, while his compatriot, Taku Hiraoka, claimed bronze in the event won by Switzerland's Iouri Podladtchikov.

White was the relatively unchallenged, dominant force in extreme sports for a considerable period of time, notching gold medals in 2007 and 2011 as a skateboarder at the X Games during his prime.

But the best from White may still be yet to come. He's never had to bounce back from an Olympic defeat in snowboarding, which should only drive him to produce his best runs to date on the PyeongChang halfpipe.