Olympian Shaun White got the sweetest parting gift from girlfriend Nina Dobrev to celebrate his participation in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The 35-year-old snowboarder and three-time Olympic gold medalist revealed the heartfelt present the "Vampire Diaries" alum gave him ahead of his fifth Olympic Games in a remote live interview from a train on NBC's "Today" show Friday, Feb. 4. The actress was unable to go with White, as the International Olympic Committee has banned foreign spectators from the event as part of its strict COVID-19 safety protocols, just like they did with the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
"I wish she could have been here," White said. "She was trying her hardest to sneak in somehow. But, you know, she's been so supportive and so wonderful, really just in my corner every step of the way. Hi Nina! Thank you for everything. She really has done some amazing things for me. And my sendoff to China was just so beautiful. She made this incredible video of all my friends and family. Really incredible."
Get Southern California news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC LA newsletters.
The athlete added, "I'm missing everyone but I definitely feel their love and support from afar."
White and Dobrev, 33, have been dating for about two years. Last month, she gushed about her boyfriend's upcoming Olympic return in an interview with E!'s Daily Pop.
"I am really excited for him," she said. "Just to get into the Olympics at all is one of the hugest accomplishments, let alone to get in five times. I'm so excited. I'm so proud of him."
White arrived in Beijing last week and has been sharing several behind-the-scenes photos. He told the Today show in the interview, broadcast hours after the 2022 Olympics opening ceremony, that he thinks this will be his last Olympic Games.
"The more I talk to people, they keep trying to inspire me to keep going," said the athlete, who made his Olympics debut in 2006. "But I've had an amazing run and I'm so thankful for everything I've achieved and I'm ready to pass the torch onto the next generation."
(E! and NBC are part of the NBCUniversal family.)