Shaun White penned an emotional thank you note after his final Olympic performance, expressing not just gratitude for those who helped him during his career, but revealing his plans for the future as he is "passing the torch."
In a message posted on Twitter, White said typing the words made him as emotional as he was last week, when he took his final Olympic halfpipe run, holding his helmet in the air, tears in his eyes as his competitors lined up to congratulate a snowboarding legend.
White said his final Olympic journey "has been a rollercoaster of emotions and I am overwhelmed with appreciation."
He thanked his team, his family, his role model Tony Hawk, his fans and the late Jake Burton, who gave him his first snowboard and his first sponsorship at the age of 7.
"I wish he could have been at the bottom of the halfpipe in Beijing, just as he was at every other Olympics prior," White wrote.
White said snowboarding was his "first love," but acknowledged that "as this door closes, another opens."
"I couldn't more excited to channel my love and passion for the sport into my new company @whitespace_create," he wrote. "All my time and energy will be focused on building the best possible products for the next generation of promising young talents. I'm passing the torch and I couldn't be more excited to see how much higher it soars."
White, the 35-year-old and three-time gold-medal winner, put the finishing touches on his career last week, finishing fourth in the halfpipe.
"Yeah, I'm retired, that's the last of it," said White after the final.
“Every step of the way has been great,” White said. “I’m not looking at it from today, I’m looking at it as a whole.”
On his newly acquired off-time, White said he’ll use the opportunity to do some things he’s wanted to for a while.
“I’ll finally have the time to do some things I’ve always wanted to, take some vacations, ride some powder,” he said.