Shaun White, USA
Hometown: Carlsbad, California
Board team: Burton
Olympic outlook: Shaun has shown himself to be unbeatable in more ways than the world thought possible. A born competitor, the Torino gold medalist doesn’t want to just go to the Olympics, he wants to the win them-again. In the competition arena, White is known for his flawless execution and otherworldly consistency-he won four of the five Olympic Grand Prix qualifiers. He exercises extreme determination and skill-honing the moves that put him ahead of the pack in a series of private pipe/foam-pit sessions-Project X-and he continues to innovate right down to the final Grand Prix in Park City. He goes huge, he locks back-to-back double-cork 1080s consistently and huge, and he recently added a double McTwist 1260. He has more tricks to be unleashed as needed. The two riders that have beat him in the last two years-Kevin Pearce at the 2009 European Open and Danny Davis at the first 2010 Mammoth Grand Prix-are both injured.
Potential downfall: Let’s face it-Shaun doesn’t like to lose, and heading into Vancouver as an Olympic title defender, the pressure on his shoulders will be unimaginably high, but that’s nothing new for Shaun and the ability to perform under pressure is part of what makes him great.