Jul 10, 2013, 12:35 PM EST
The Sochi Games are more than 200 days away, but Shaun White is already consumed with the Olympics — even in his dreams.
The two-time reigning snowboard halfpipe gold medalist talked about his preparation with TODAY on Wednesday morning.
“Everything around my life right now is focused on the Olympics,” White said. “It’s a really good feeling that it’s coming up. I think I’m prepared.”
White will have to work twice as hard at his third Olympics. He’s expected to not only try to defend his halfipe crown but also go for gold in a new event, snowboard slopestyle. Let White describe it.
“It’s basically a series of jumps in one run and some rail features that you slide on,” he said. “And you make your way down and you basically do as many tricks as you can on those jumps. It’s like, you know, the new thing.”
White finished fifth in slopestyle at this year’s Winter X Games. The winner was Canadian Mark McMorris, 19, profiled in a January Rolling Stone article titled, “Is Mark McMorris the next Shaun White?” White was 19 when he won his first Olympic gold in 2006.
TODAY asked White if was one of the favorites for slopestyle gold in Sochi.
“I’m all right at it, yeah,” he said, humbly.
White was on the New York set with his new, clean-cut hairstyle. White said his previous flying tomato locks were 12 to 13 inches long. He had them cut in December for Locks of Love charity, which provides wigs for children with hair loss due to medical conditions.
“It was a tough call, but it was a good cause,” he said. “A lot of weight (gone). I can go higher now in the halfpipe.”
White also talked about how he comes up with new gravity-defying tricks.
“It’s basically tricks that are based off of other tricks,” he said. “I recently was dreaming about snowboarding. I thought of this new rotation to put on an existing trick that I already have. It’s random, mostly by mistake I’d say. You’re setting out to do something and by accident you create a new trick.”
So White’s even got the Games on his mind while he sleeps. Is he feeling the pressure?
“A little bit, yeah, but I like that,” he said. “It’s something to strive for, to live up to.”
- Ashley Wagner in Grand Prix Final fight after finishing behind Russians at Trophee Bompard 0
- Angelina Jolie showed Louis Zamperini scenes of ‘Unbroken’ on hospital bed 0
- Joss Christensen becomes ‘mountain man’ since Sochi Olympics 0
- IOC proposes adding Olympic events, bid reforms 0
- Ryan Lochte: I have no doubt Michael Phelps will come back 1
- Doha gets 2019 World Track and Field Championships over Eugene, Barcelona 2
- Bode Miller out until January due to back surgery 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)