Update (July 14, 2018): Shaun White has withdrawn from the Vans Park Series due to injury. "I slightly injured myself a few days ago, and was holding my wild-card, hoping I was going to feel better before the contest," he said in press statement. "I’m super annoyed, but that’s how it goes sometimes...I just wanna thank Vans for the opportunity—and wish the other skaters the best of luck. I’ll be watching online!" The Vans Park Series will be live-streamed at ETNlive.com.
Snowboard sensation and three-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White has been confirmed as a participant in the Vancouver leg for this year’s Vans Park Series.
The so-called “Flying Tomato” will enter the competition’s 2018 Men’s Pro Tour as a wildcard. The throwdown, which is billed as skateboarding’s first and only park-terrain contest, comes to Hastings Skatepark on Friday and Saturday (July 13 and 14) for its second qualifying round. Admission is free for spectators.
White will go up against eight elite athletes, including Tom Schaar, Alex Sorgente, and 2017 champion Pedo Barros, plus more than 20 other wildcards and “challengers”.
The participants are vying for a spot in the Vans Park Series World Championships, which take place on October 26 and 27 in China. Other qualifying rounds happen in São Paulo, Huntington Beach, and Malmö.
White, who holds the record for the most X-Games gold medals and Olympic gold medals won by a snowboarder, has skateboarded since he was a kid and previously competed—and took home hardware—in the Summer X Games’ skateboarding vert events.
He’s expressed interest in playing in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Toyko, where skateboarding is one of five sports that will be incorporated into the international athletic meet for the first time. Those events, however, will be held on “street-like” and park courses, which are different from the traditional ramps White is used to competing on.
The pro boarder told followers in an Instagram post on July 2 that he’s entered “a couple skateboard competitions this summer” in preparation for a potential Olympic run.
“I haven’t officially decided to go for the Summer Olympics in 2020 in Japan,” he said, “but I’m gonna go try myself out at these events and see where I stack up with the other skaters, then make a decision.”