Olympic gold medalist Shaun White wins on wheels at Dew Tour’s Portland stop

By Anne M. Peterson, AP
Sunday, August 15, 2010

Shaun White wins at Dew Tour Portland stop

PORTLAND, Ore. — Shaun White is winning on wheels again.

The Olympic snowboarding gold medalist won the skateboard vert title Sunday at the Dew Tour’s Portland stop.

White pulled off his signature move, the Armadillo, to finish in front of Bucky Lasek and recent X Games medalist Pierre-Luc Gagnon.

White, a 2007 Dew Cup champion, has been looking to regain his form as a world-class skateboarder after taking last season off because of an injury and his preparation for the Olympics. White won his second gold medal in the halfpipe at the Vancouver Games earlier this year.

The Armadillo, technically, is a frontside heel-flip body varial 540. Upon landing, White threw his hands up in victory before completing his run. Then he raised his board up over his head to the cheers of the crowd at the Rose Garden.

The P.A. announcer called it “the most amazing skateboarding run in history.”

“I knew I had to do a heavy-heavy combination and I nailed it,” White said afterward. “I wanted to show that I’ve got it down.”

White is no stranger to pulling off bold moves: He’s known in snowboarding circles for his Double McTwist 1260, which he landed in Vancouver.

White was the first person to medal in both the summer and winter X Games. He has won three gold medals on the Dew Tour, but none since 2008.

Last season, in addition to training for the Olympics, White was dealing with a bone chip in his ankle that prevented him from competitive skateboarding. The injury didn’t hamper him as much in his snowboard boots.

The injury flared on him again this year, keeping him from participating in the first Dew Tour stop in Boston. Gagnon outdueled him at the X Games in Los Angeles two weeks ago.

White said Sunday he’ll compete in the Dew Tour’s Salt Lake City stop next month before the championships in Las Vegas in October.

“I want to show these guys I’m not going anywhere,” White said, gesturing to the fans.

White started out as a snowboarder, claiming his first sponsorship at age 7, but he took to skateboarding under legend Tony Hawk’s tutelage at 13.

With his flowing red air, White has since become the face of action sports — indeed, he’s possibly one of today’s most recognized athletes from any realm. He has his own clothing line at Target and a new skateboarding video game.

White was asked by one fan whether his next trick will be the mythical 1080. He laughed — but didn’t rule it out.

“It’s not really a trick you put in a run,” he said. “If you land it, you go in the history books.”

In other Dew Tour events, Paul Rodriguez won Saturday’s skate park finals on Saturday, his first Dew Tour victory since 2008. Rodriguez bested tour standings leader Greg Lutzka.

On Friday, Target announced his sponsorship of Rodriguez, who is a three-time X Games gold medalist.

England’s Jamie Bestwick, a seven-time X Games champion, won BMX vert on Saturday, while Brett Banasiewicz won in BMX dirt.

will not be displayed