GOLD MEDALIST SNOWBOARDER SHAUN WHITE, PREPARING FOR THE VANCOUVER OLYMPICS, TELLS "60 MINUTES" IT'S SOMETIMES LONELY AT THE TOP
Snowboarding champion Shaun White acknowledges how lonely it can be when you're the best in a 60 MINUTES profile before he competes for more gold in the Winter Olympics next month. The 23-year-old Olympian spent time with Bob Simon - including a moment hanging over the correspondent's head - for the profile to be broadcast Sunday, Jan. 31 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT).
Simon's report traces the life of the flame-haired snowboarder, from his infancy when he needed heart surgery, to his boyhood skateboarding collision that nearly ended his career to the lofty heights he currently occupies as snowboarding's grand trickster and richest endorser. He's gotten so good, so successful, he realizes it's hard to really be a part of the snowboarding fraternity anymore. His competitors have said he's off on his own doing his own thing apart from them.
"I definitely found it a bit lonely sometimes," he tells Simon. "I don't think you can have really good friends that you go and compete...with...beat them at the hill...I totally understand [his competitors' attitude about him]," he says. "If you and I were competing on the hill I don't think I'd want to hang out with you afterward while you're shining your medal...that would be a bummer," says White. Watch an excerpt.
The segment contains lots of footage of White at work, including him practicing his tricks at his own private half pipe in Colorado's backcountry. Viewers will learn how White got started on a snowboard, what his predictions are for his upcoming Olympic performance and get a look at his ride when he takes Simon out on the road for a short but fast spin in his Lamborghini.
White likes the view from the top; he's gotten comfortable there - like when he was able to fly over Simon's head on cue. "There's just this amazing moment when you're not going up anymore, but you're not coming down...you're just flying. Yeah, it's just the best feeling," he tells Simon.