Shaun White competes during the Snowboard Men's Halfpipe Qualification on day four of the  Winter Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 13, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

The newest sport on the Olympic Winter Games program turns 24 this year, and has it ever grown. A schedule of four medal events in the debut of snowboarding at the Olympic Winter Games Nagano 1998 has given way to 11 planned for Beijing. Halfpipe and parallel giant slalom have remained since Nagano — though the latter was just giant slalom then — but snowboardcross, slopestyle and big air have all been added over the years. Beijing marks the debut of a new medal event in mixed team snowboardcross.

In snowboarding’s humble Olympic beginnings, Team USA took home just two medals: bronze in men’s and women’s halfpipe. But the U.S. has topped the medal table at every Games since and is far and away the all-time leader. The U.S. owns 14 gold medals and 31 total medals, more than the next two countries — Switzerland and France — combined.

Additionally, Team USA’s Shaun White is the only snowboarder to win three Olympic gold medals. Only three other snowboarders have won three medals total, and two of them are from Team USA. Slopestyle specialist Jamie Anderson has two golds and one silver medal, and halfpipe champion Kelly Clark has one gold and two bronze medals.

The snowboarding program can generally be divided into trick-based events and racing events. Halfpipe, big air and slopestyle see competitors trying to outdo each other with increasingly difficult spins and jumps on very different courses. Snowboardcross and parallel giant slalom pit racers against each other to see who can record the fastest time.

Snowboarding in Beijing will mostly take place in the mountain region of Zhangjiakou northwest of the city. The exception is big air, which takes place at the world’s first permanent big air venue, which is located in Beijing’s Shougang Industrial Park.

Updated on January 28, 2022. For more information, contact the sport press officer here.

Two questions come to mind when considering Shaun White at the Beijing Games: Can he really win another gold medal? And will this be the last time he’ll drop into an Olympic halfpipe? The 35-year-old went on a three-year break from competition following his latest triumph in PyeongChang only to fire it up again last March in pursuit of another try at gold. Only two Americans have won four gold medals at the Winter Games: speedskaters Bonnie Blair and Eric Heiden with five apiece.

With vastly different events under the snowboarding umbrella, it’s hard for athletes to compete in more than one and earn multiple medals. One exception to that is Jamie Anderson, who competes in slopestyle and big air and was the only snowboarder to earn multiple medals in PyeongChang. Doing so again in Beijing would give her the most medals by a snowboarder in Olympic history.

While Team USA has been dominant overall in snowboarding at the Games, that hasn’t always been the case in snowboardcross. Seth Wescott won the first two men’s snowboardcross gold medals in 2006 and 2010, and Alex Deibold added a bronze in 2014, but no American has medaled in the event since. And no U.S. woman has ever medaled at the Games, despite five gold medals won at the world championships by Team USA’s Lindsey Jacobellis. 

Red Gerard (Silverthorne, Colorado): Gerard was the youngest snowboarding Olympic gold medalist in history four years ago, taking the slopestyle title at 17. He was the youngest U.S. man to win a gold medal at the Winter Games since 1928. Making history at a young age will happen when you start snowboarding at 2. Now 21, Gerard is fresh off a win at the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain in California.

Dusty Henricksen (Mammoth Lakes, California): Only 18, Henricksen is already a Youth Olympic Games gold medalist and a Winter X Games champion in slopestyle. In 2021 Henricksen became the first U.S. man in 12 years to win X Games gold in slopestyle. That 2009 winner? Shaun White.

Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton Mountain, Vermont): When it comes to snowboardcross, there’s no peer for Jacobellis. The 36-year-old four-time Olympian made her Olympic debut with silver in Torino in 2006 and also has five world championships. But she’s still chasing that elusive Olympic gold and has had several close calls.

Chloe Kim (Torrance, California): Kim is no longer the teenage prodigy she was four years ago. With her halfpipe victory at age 17, she became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal. Kim is now simply one of the best snowboarders in the world, and the reigning world and X Games champion. Kim, now 21, is also a two-time Youth Olympic Games gold medalist. Kim even managed to work in a year at Princeton, studying chemistry and anthropology before returning to snowboarding after classes were shut down with the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

Meet the full U.S. Olympic snowboarding team in this article. 

Feb. 6 – Women’s slopestyle finals
Feb. 7 – Men’s slopestyle finals
Feb. 8 – Men’s and women’s parallel giant slalom finals
Feb. 9 – Women’s snowboardcross finals
Feb. 10 – Women’s halfpipe finals, men’s snowboardcross finals
Feb. 11 – Men’s halfpipe finals
Feb. 12 – Mixed team snowboardcross finals
Feb. 15 – Men’s and women’s big air finals