The news hit the snowboarding community like a ton of bricks March 27, 2014, when headlines announced, “Shaun White Retires from Snowboarding.” While there most of the stories behind the headlines were speculation based on the fact that on social media Shaun White had discussed taking a break from snowboarding to pursue a music career with his band, Bad Things.
“It’s a huge career change for me to be doing music, but I think my roots still remain in the sports side of things,” read a statement on Shaun White’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. The somewhat ambiguous message was posted by White on March 27, but little information was forthcoming in the following weeks.
Shaun White’s fans, fellow riders and spectators asked if his “retirement” was linked to his fourth place finish in the halfpipe competition at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. But when the games ended and Matt Lauer asked White if he’d be returning to the 2018 Winter Olympics, the two-time Olympic gold medalist responded, “I think so.”
Although at the time of writing an official retirement press release from Shaun White’s PR team had not yet been issued. While the eerie Facebook and Twitter statement didn’t 100 percent guarantee White’s retirement, circumstances did make it appear that he’d be taking a break from the competitive circuit for a while. In March, 2014 White skipped the Burton US Open to go on tour with Bad Things.
Shaun White’s snowboarding career, which he began at the age of six, was filled with first place finishes, gold medals, and fame. His transition to rock proved to have similar potential. His band — Bad Things — took off quickly (in part, no doubt, so White’s popularity as a snowboarder). Not only did the band perform at one of the biggest rock music festivals in the country, Lollapalooza, they also performed as musical guests on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Falon.
When asked about his commitment to the band in an interview with Rolling Stone, White stated, “I drop everything for these guys. [Photo] shoots, practice, anything I need to do.”
Until an official report on the retirement of one of the greatest riders to ever grace the snow is released, fans and spectators will have to wait, wonder, and maybe give Bad Things’ self-titled debut album a listen.