As a professional extreme sports athlete, Shaun White is used to performing in front of crowds. But this is not currently possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though White still brightened the day of some young skateboarders recently. He took part in a "social distancing skateboarding session."
White posted a series of photos on his Instagram profile and detailed the time with the young skateboarders. He stopped in front of some young kids holding up a sign and asking him to skate on their ramp. White obliged but followed some recommended guidelines. He wore a mask while skating on the mini ramp and did not touch the people gathered nearby.
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"When you drive by a request like this you can't say no. Definitely brought back some memories seeing these kids killing it on their starter ramp in the neighborhood, so I stopped to skate with them from a safe distance. Hard to see cuz the masks but I was stoked to put smiles on some young faces during these tough times and these kids definitely brightened my day [...] thanks for the session," White wrote on Instagram.
The video showed White hitting the ramp and doing some simple tricks, not hogging the ramp during the session, but instead opting to let the other kids take their turns. When the young skateboarders successfully pulled off a trick, White applauded by smacking his board against another ramp.
White, 33, is very familiar with skateboarding in front of a respected athlete. When he was 7, he impressed Tony Hawk. The legend later helped a 17-year-old White turn pro and signed him to his Birdhouse Skateboards brand. White continued to turn heads as both a snowboarder and skateboarder, becoming the first person to win the Summer and Winter X Games in the same year.
In his career, White has competed in the Olympics four separate times, winning three gold medals. The most recent victory took place during the 2018 Olympics, and White reportedly planned on taking part in the 2020 Tokyo Games as a skateboarder before the coronavirus postponement. White also holds the record for the most X Games medals with 13, including 11 gold.
With the coronavirus forcing competitions to halt for the foreseeable future, White can't perform in front of raucous crowds. Instead, he is brightening the day of kids on the street. He may not be able to shake hands, but he can still skateboard while following social distancing guidelines.