This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor.
It was not without controversy that the Olympics added sports like freestyle skiing and snowboarding a few years back. But what a breath of fresh air snowboarder Shaun White is. He won gold earlier this week by flying 25 feet into the air off the halfpipe and then spinning three times around before slipping back onto to the ice and snow.
Two things here: One, it's hard to do — and two, it looks so cool.
I talked with Shaun this morning, and he still had a smile on his face.
He described what it was like standing at the tope of the pipe, overlooking the huge crowd, seeing his parents there and then launching into the run. He says when he's in the air, he often closes his eyes. He says you want to be able to feel what you're doing.
White is already a household name in the snowboarding world with endorsement deals and income aplenty. With Olympic gold though, people stop. They see the mane of red hair and say, "Dude, you're awesome!"
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