American snowboarder Shaun White thinks that the guest he will be inviting to PyeongChang next month will next be winning Olympic gold medals in the future.
Toby Miller, 17, will be there to see Shaun White defy odds and bring home some hardware during the Winter Olympics. The two have forged a bond as White has become a mentor to the talented teenager.
The teen said that the two-time Olympic medalist has always been his hero in snowboarding, but their relationship has developed from just a mentor and student. Miller said that White has become his family.
“When we’re hanging out, it doesn’t feel like he’s that much older than me,” he said. “It just feels like two dudes hanging out.”
Miller started quite early in as he won the USASA National title at just 13 years old. He’s known as a prodigy on the half-pipe, trying never-before-seen tricks in competitions. In the recent Winter X Games, for instance, he successfully landed the Yolo Filp twice.
The amazing thing was that he only gained confidence after landing the same 1440-degree spin the night before in practice. He finished fifth despite being the last-minute replacement after White pulled out to rest for the Olympics.
White is confident that Miller would be one of the “next guys to blow up,” which means the US Ski Team is in good hands. The 31-year-old quickly found out that he could push Miller to do tricks that he wouldn’t dare teach with other teenagers his age. For now, they are working on the Double McTwist 1260, the signature move by the Olympian that other riders are scared to perform.
“I could find out that I’ve been grooming a monster,” he quipped.
While Miller has shown the knack to try out the big tricks, he also needs to perfect the small ones for a flawless run. “It’s just going to take time to connect it all. He’ll grow into his strength,” he added of Miller.