TODAY   |  November 04, 2009

Shaun White prepares for Vancouver

Nov. 4: With 100 days until the Winter Olympics, TODAY’s Matt Lauer talks to Olympic snowboarder Shaun White about how he’s gearing up for the games.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> be going for back-to-back olympic golds. and snowboarder shaun white is certainly one of the athletes to watch in vancouver. shaun, good to see you again.

>> good to see you, too.

>> it's been a while since we saw you in torino.

>> i know.

>> what's been going on some.

>> it's been great. i'm doing my thing, riding, learning new tricks. this past season's been amazing, just practicing. i went to new zealand this summer and getting ready.

>> when you look back at torino standing on the center platform and getting the gold medal , things like that, how did your life change immediately following those games?

>> it just, i don't know, everything kind of blew up. i was already becoming successful with the board. it was just that extra push over the edge . i don't know. i went on this whirlwind tour, and i mean, people were applauding in the airports and it was wild.

>> i remember that you had made a name for yourself in the x games , and i thought when you went to torino, you had kind of a target on your back. everybody was talking about you. certainly now going to vancouver, you definitely have a target on your back as the defending gold medalist . how does that impact your psyche and your preparation?

>> i don't know. i mean, i don't remember the last event i went to or where i was as one of the guys looked at to do well. i'm excited. it's kind of a fun thing in a way. i kind of take it and use it, if everybody's counting on me to do well, there's got to be a reason for it, and i use that as a motivate or motivator, some pressure.

>> when it comes to new tricks, how do you try to figure out what's going to be the next big thing?

>> you know, it's tough. i mean, there's so many competitors and the tricks are always changing, sport's always changing. but i don't know, i've cooked up some new tricks this year, and it's always -- you always take one trick and then evolve that into something else, and what's good fun is the recent tricks is, you come out of one flip, and where you would normally land, you go into another one. so, it's really --

>> and how do you develop something like that? do you work with an individual? do you work on a trampoline? how do you do it?

>> i don't know. i mean, trampolines help. you know, we started doing stuff in snowboarding that the dudes, the guys in motorcycles do and land in foam pits and airbags and stuff like that, some stuntman action. but yeah, it's -- you know, that only gets you so close. you've got to just sit there and dig deep and go for it at one point.

>> i just want to mention, before you go, you're also very involved in target house. do you want to quickly tell people what that is and why it's important to you?

>> target house is basically in memphis next to st. jude hospital. it supports the hospital and it's a long-term care facility that, you know, houses families while they're undergoing treatment. and it's amazing. i went down there when i was 16 and saw the place and couldn't wait to help out, and i donated some money, redid their whole living room. it's cool to circle back because i've had heart surgeries when i was younger and stayed at a house similar to that, so it's amazing.

>> you're doing great things. thanks very much.