Irish American Shaun White is heading back to Canada, plotting his path to Olympic Gold in a few weeks - and the locals remember him from the time he was six.
That was when he first showed up in Canada to train with his family. Ken Achenbach, owner and director of Camp of Champions, told the Canadian Press he remembered the red-headed Irish kid well.
"He rode all day, all day, all day,'' said Achenbach. "He wasn't scared to push it either, which is pretty awesome.
"I guess there was a reason I remembered him.''
White has since become the best known snowboarder in the world.
This, despite the fact that he has had two heart operations before he was one to overcome birth defects.
White fondly remembers those trips North to find snow from Carlsbad, California well.
"We would just camp because we couldn't really afford the hotels and everything,'' White told The Canadian Press. "We'd be camping and there's bears everywhere and it was just amazing - I was blown away.''
White is a genius on the snowboard.
Last month, he stunned his opponents by showing off his latest trick - the Double McTwist 1260 - in competition.
"It was unbelievable - it's a trick that I didn't even imagine I was going to be able to do,'' White said.
YouTube videos showing White's Double McTwist drew more than 400,000 hits in four days.
"It's sick,'' said Justin Lameroux, a Canadian competitor . "It's the sickest pipe trick I've ever seen.''
Canadian halfpipe coach Tom Hutchinson says White is well nigh unbeatable.
"Not only is he great, and he's been great, he works harder than everybody else,'' Hutchinson said.
"He'll be riding all day and then he'll come down and he'll hit the gym or he'll go and skateboard for hours and that. He lives skateboarding and snowboarding.
"If he has his perfect run, will anybody beat him? No.''
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