In a brave and candid interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer today, snowboarding star Shaun White revealed he has been struggling with much more than just a disappointing 4th place finish in Sochi in the halfpipe.
“I try to maintain a facade of being stoked, but sometimes I am very unstoked,” said White. “In fact, I was recently diagnosed as being clinically unstoked.”
White told Lauer that he first noticed symptoms at a competition last March.
“I caught big air on Double McTwist 1260 and when I landed it I was completely lacking in stoke,” said White. “I felt about as stoked then as I would if I had successfully parallel parked my car. Well, that’s probably not the best example because I used to get stoked parallel parking my car. I got stoked doing everything. But not anymore.”
When the symptoms persisted, White finally convinced himself he needed to see someone.
“Clinical unstokedness is similar to clinical depression, but it only strikes extreme sport athletes,” said Dr. Flipsy McEndo, a Vail, Colorado, physician who specializes in snowboarders and saw White. “It’s manifests itself mainly in no longer being stoked by daily life activities. There is also commonly a loss of lingo in conversation and a tendency for non-stoner hairstyles. When we met, Shaun didn’t give me an elaborate handshake, he spoke like a grown man and he had cut his hair. So, yeah, he had all the warning signs.”
The snowboarder didn’t blame his Sochi performance on his ailment, but said “it has been harder to train. The whole reason I went out there on the halfpipe every day before was because it got me stoked. Now I get just as stoked laying on the couch eating chips, which is zero stoked.”
White says he is treating his unstokedness with Broloft, which is Zoloft crushed up into an energy drink.
“I just want all the snowboarders and x-gamers out there to know that they’re not alone if they’re not feeling stoked sometimes,” said White. “If me speaking out could help just one person out there … well, I’d be pretty stoked. And that’s not just the Broloft talking, bro.”
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