Shaun White talks gum, training, playing guitar

Wed, Sep 28

Shaun White has conquered many areas: Olympics (two gold medals), X-Games (21 overall medals), video games (two), clothing line (Target), sunglasses (Oakley), movie appearances ("Friends with Benefits") and now gum.

Starting last week, the 25-year-old White began appearing in TV commercials for Stride's Whitemint gum with his buddy -- a Yeti.

White, who has always been a gum chewer, helped select the flavor and was instrumental in creating the package graphics from start to finish.

"You wouldn't believe how many flavors I tried in a couple of hours to get the right one," said White, who has been endorsing products since he was 7. "Thankfully, the focus groups picked the same flavor as I did."

Stride, a Kraft Foods brand, was launched in 2006 and comes in 14 flavors. In the Whitemint packs, White interacts with the Stride mascot ram in some comedic scenes.

While juggling endorsements, White still has time to win medals and practice his skateboarding and snowboarding.

"Since I was a kid and living in the beach, I would get up, ride the mountain and leave. I'm not one of those guys who needs five hours of training," said White, who was born in San Diego. "My head is in the right place. I skate real hard. I snowboard real hard. I just do what I have to do."

And, to relax, White said he's been playing a lot of guitar for the past nine years. Still, he isn't thinking about recording a CD -- even though he does jam with his buddies.

If he could record without anyone, who would that be?

"Jimi Hendrix."

Well, that's not likely to happen.