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Olympian Shaun White Thought About Coming Out of Retirement '20 Times' — But Feels 'at Peace' With His Decision

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Source: @shaunwhite/instagram

May 20 2024, Published 9:15 a.m. ET

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Shaun White has been retired from snowboarding for two years, but there were many times he wanted to stay in the sport. "In my head, I thought about taking back my decision 20 times. It sounds so good and then you're like, 'No, no.' It's been fun and I get to work with different brands and do my own thing," the 37-year-old, who partnered with CVS Pharmacy® to introduce Well Market™, a crave-worthy new snack brand, exclusively tells OK!.

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Source: @shaunwhite/instagram

Shaun White retired from snowboarding in 2022.

When the athlete, who is a three-time Olympic gold medalist in half-pipe snowboarding, made the announcement after the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, he recalled thinking about the moment when he was just a kid. "People were like, 'You can't snowboard forever, right?' I was like, 'Yeah, yeah, sure, that day will come,' which you never think is going to come," he shares. "Especially at that time. But as it approached, it was more of this weird thing of 'Wow, this is the moment.' We're doing this! It was more surreal of like watching my own life unfold in front of me."

"I was really fortunate — a lot of athletes get called into a room and they're like, 'So, it's over.' You're like, 'Wait, what?' For me, I got to decide, and it was on my own terms," he adds of making the call on his career. "Once you make that decision, everything's got this extra little glimmer to it — oh, this is the last time I'm going to be dealing with this, so I'm going to miss it. Everything's so fun, and I really got to say my goodbyes in a certain way, so I felt at peace and good about that. It's not like I never reached my peak. I got my ring, I hit it a few times. I was like, 'I did it.'"

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Tom Brady, who retired from football for good in 2023, once told White, "It's hard to walk away."

"He came back, and I was like, 'This is so great to talk to you right now because you know the feeling,'" the star, who is dating Nina Dobrev, says. "I feel the same sometimes. He's like, 'Oh, that's never going to go away. You're going to feel that way at times because you did it for so long,' but he's like, 'We did it, man. We did our thing and had our moment.'"

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Source: @shaunwhite/instagram

Shaun White is enjoying his life post-retirement.

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In the meantime, White has been keeping busy. "It's been an interesting adjustment because there is one thing that your life just revolves around — it's like what you eat and sleep and this clock is constantly counting down to the big event," he says. "Obviously that's not around anymore. I launched my own brand, WHITESPACE, and we do outerwear, we do boards, goggles, etc. I am still involved in the sport — but in a different way. I like to test all the products and I work on the marketing. I also get to mentor young snowboarders, and I see so much of myself in them. I remember being that age and getting my first board and what that meant to me and how it changed my life. It's really rewarding to be working on the brand and be involved in the business side of things. I love building and creating things."

"I wish I could talk about it now, but we've got a big announcement coming in June that's really going to change the snowboarding world. I'm excited about it," he adds.

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Source: @shaunwhite/instagram

The pair have been dating since 2020.

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White was told by others to enjoy the moment and travel since he now has the time — which is exactly what he's doing with his girlfriend by his side. "We try our best to go on trips! Nina should be a travel agent. She's like, 'Just get in the car!'" he quips.

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Source: @shaunwhite/instagram

Shaun White loves to travel.

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On top of all his ventures, White has partnered with CVS Pharmacy® to introduce Well Market™, the retail division of CVS Health®, a new store brand consumables line featuring snacks, beverages and groceries.

"I have a funny relationship with CVS Pharmacy®. When I was a kid, my mom would pick up medicine and band-aids for me, and it became a one-stop shop for me. When I would travel, I'd pick up my eye mask and pillow and Airborne. So, when they were launching this line, I was like, 'Oh, this is so cool.' This isn't a normal roast snack line — they put a lot of thought into it. The almonds are different, and the flavor is infused during the sprouting process. They're actually inside of the almond! When you eat them, it's not all over your hands and clothes," he explains.

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Source: Steven Piper

Shaun White, former professional snowboarder, enjoys his favorite Well Market™ snacks, now on shelves at CVS Pharmacy stores nationwide and on CVS.com.

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He adds, "I'm obsessed with snacks because I was always on the mountain riding, and I couldn't eat a full meal because my job was flying in the air so I had to be super light. I would always wonder what snack I could eat, so these trail mix bites or almonds are always my go-to. I'm really hyped about this line!"

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