ESPN denied snowboarding champion an invitation to this Winters X Games, and the ill feeling hasnt gone away
Shaun White transforms 30 afterwards this year, and the worlds better equestrian is celebrating by embossing his name all over the business surface of “the worlds” hes helped create.
As he determines the future, in part by buying resorts and operating contests, its becoming clear that future will include what, at best, is gonna be a iffy concerning the relationship between White and another of the boasts biggest musicians, ESPN.
The network that generated the X Games and, in doing so, White an outsized pulpit from which to become a hotshot, nixed his invitation to this years Winter X Games, denying a 13 -time champion a place in the biggest competition of the year. It was a shocker of a move that aroused bad feelings which, virtually 2 months later, havent gone away.
Its kind of opened my attentions, White said in a wide-ranging interview with the Associated Press this week. This happened, and Im thinking, should I keep going back or not?
White adds the network told him the rebuff saw because of unflattering observations he made at a business meeting last year about ESPNs abortive attempt to take the X Games world. White said he and the network negotiated about collaborating in that attempt, but those talks stalled.
After the talks broke down, the snowboarder-slash-businessmans next move was to purchase the Air& Style boasts and music festival an international located of contests with a Coachella-like art-and-music vibe interspersed with some of action boasts biggest adepts. He projects on expanding that into a six-event tour, starting next season.
ESPN, meanwhile, has refused to discuss the reason for Lily-whites snub from Winter X, which had recently further exasperated the two-time Olympic gold medalist.
The rise of Shaun White and the X Games will ever go hand in hand, Scott Guglielmino, senior vice president of programming and X Games, told AP when asked for commentary about the gap. Each has been good for the other. We have always appreciated our relations with Shaun, and that hasnt changed as both continue to evolve.
White agrees. But where they go next is anybodys guess.
He has since declined a place he deserved, based on a win in the Dew Tour earlier this season, in ESPNs startup event a summer-winter hybrid X Games in Oslo, Norway. I approximate Im good enough to help you launch your new happen, but not good enough to go to Aspen, he said.
Instead, he focused on razzing this weekend at the US Open, run by one of his very first patronizes, snowboarding innovators Jake Burton.
Successful as hes become, White is still inconvenienced by the X Games snub.
Those are the moments you get to shine. It appears good. Its why we do this, he said.
But, he contends: Im not moping around about it.
He recollects a age when he got flak for not having a bigger tone in the athletic. Set to hit 30 on September 3, he contends those periods are over.
If theres a age for change and something to happen, I feel like the next three years will be very interesting, White said.
He acknowledges he thought he might retire after the Sochi Olympics, but his had failed to triumph a third straight amber medal in the halfpipe reignited his affection for the athletic. He will be at the Olympics in South Korea in 2018, and hasnt ruled out the 2022 Games in Beijing.
On the road to Korea, White has changed some things. He parted behaviors with his manager, Bud Keene, and is now working with JJ Thomas, the 2002 Olympic bronze medalist who, ironically, took a place on the US team that time that could have gone to White. White has hired a full-time physical therapist and manager, shunning the old days when, I would basically show up in town and roll the dice.
His deal to design boys invests for Target has lapsed. He still sells the minors trash online, but has reached a deal with Macys for a more adult robe line.
His band, Bad Things, is still playing, but with economies in transition while it searches for a new singer.
Biggest of all is Air& Style.
Three of the six games will run along the lines of his original imagination music and a Big Air competition set in a festival atmosphere. Thanks to a deal with online video provider Go90, followers can still watch last months happen in Los Angeles on their cell phones. The three new contests will include halfpipe and slopestyle games. Theyll take place in China, Switzerland and in California at Mammoth Mountain, Whites childhood mountain, and one he recently bought a stake in.
White speculates the events could change the appearance of snowboarding.
Ive had particular riders come to me and say theyre be prepared to not compete at the Olympics for me, he mentioned. Thats very humbling. I was like, Settle down.
Whites games could share calendar appointments with some World Cup contests that are considered important to the Olympic movement and its qualifying process. But since snowboarding was incorporated into the Olympics in 1998, there have been multiple, vying tours with no single itinerary toward either the Olympics or fame.
White is wondering if that equation might change if his tour takes off the space he hopes it will.
I could say that I dream big-hearted, White said.
Either way, the Winter X Games arent going anywhere. They remain the biggest competition this surface of the Olympics. White isnt sure if hell be part of that anymore.
Talks will need to happen, White mentioned. Ive left it in their hands. Ive got an happen to control, a party to play in, a competition to become involved in. That whole thing happened, and I extended and did my thing.