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Shaun White Documentary Spells Out The Tough Choices He Made For His Sport

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Shaun White- Years after their sport was elevated to the Olympic stage, most elite snowboarders still felt filthy about competing for large money and gold medals. They were more concerned with having fun and making new friends than winning money and rewards.

For every death-defying calculation Shaun White made throughout his two decades of risk-taking on the halfpipe, his decision to encourage other riders to reconsider their role in the sport was a game changer.

The first episode of the documentary series “Shaun White: The Last Run,” which premieres Thursday on MAX, focuses on the exact moment White chose to try to make a career off snowboarding rather than making friends.

“We saw a future in this sport that others didn’t, and we wanted to prove them wrong,” says White, now 36, in the series, reminiscing on a watershed event when he was 15. “I could potentially make what (my parents) were making for a whole year in one day.”

White received more than his fair share of criticism for that choice, but the next two decades proved him correct.

By the end of the series, no one has second thoughts about risking their life for a gold medal. Ayumu Hirano, 23, who won one in the Beijing Olympics — where White placed fourth after his final pass — is one of many who freely confess they wouldn’t be on the halfpipe if White hadn’t set a precedent.

“What’s beautiful about the documentary is, in the end, it’s not all about the wins,” White told The Associated Press. “In the end, it’s about leaving a legacy in sports.” “How it changed my life, how it changed the lives of my family, and, hopefully, how it changed the sport.”

white

For every death-defying calculation Shaun White made throughout his two decades of risk-taking on the halfpipe, his decision to encourage other riders to reconsider their role in the sport was a game changer.

For those who have only followed the three-time Olympic champion every four years, his decisions and the risks he takes in this four-part series will feel revelatory and as terrifying as they were in real time.

For those who already know the narrative, there’s a new opportunity to experience the ups and downs — specifically, the difficult, often life-changing and life-risking decisions he made in starting gates, ice tubs, and hospital beds with his coaches, Bud Keene and, subsequently, J.J. Thomas.

Along with years of home- and handheld-camera film, there are new interviews with White’s mother and father, Cathy and Roger, and his brother and sister, Kari and Jesse. They were all on board with Shaun as the family business. Excursions to Mount Hood and Mammoth in the family’s converted white van quickly turned into international flights to see their son and sibling transform the sport.

In a 2021 phone call, Kari reminds her brother, “Winning is your only friend,” as Shaun lies on a massage table, remembering when that was true but also experiencing the changes that 20 years had exacted on his body and psyche.

If there is a main opponent throughout this series, it is the triple cork — the enormous and hazardous three-head-over-heels move Hirano used to win in China last year.

White had been practicing that move for eight years before it was finally landed in a competition. In dozens of dives into airbags and foam pits, we witness him do it brilliantly and not-so-great. We see him commit to it, abandon it, then return to it, all the while knowing that if he loses his bearings on that trick — or any trick — while flying half-blind above a rock-hard halfpipe, his career and life are in jeopardy.

“That’s what the current riders were doing, and that’s where we are today,” White explained when asked why the series focuses on the triple jump rather than the other breakthrough techniques he pioneered. “And I thought it was important that they reacted by saying, ‘Hey, look, I tried this ages ago.'” But the sport did not change that way” when he first tried it.

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It did, however, happen in the end.

The series alternates between eras. Early in Episode 1, White notices Hirano and the other Japanese riders landing triples weeks before the Beijing Games, and there’s a sense that his position atop the podium is in peril.

And yet, as he approaches the starting gate for his final ride in Episode 4, it feels as if he could try the triple and pull it off. After all, he had previously taken comparable risks and walked away with gold.

There are no spoilers in this section. Everyone knows how this is going to end.

But there were three gold medals and another fourth-place finish before that, each catapulting White to a different level of fame, satisfaction, happiness, or unhappiness. The objective of this story is not his career-ending fourth-place finish.

Instead, White made it acceptable — even desirable — for elite snowboarders to face the harsh realities of their jobs: Pushing the boundaries is admirable in and of itself. But there’s nothing wrong with being wealthy and famous for doing something you enjoy, especially if you’re willing to sacrifice your life.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Sony To Lay Off 900 At PlayStation As Tough Times For The Video Games Industry Persist

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Sony said on Tuesday that it will lose 900 jobs, or 8% of PlayStation’s global workforce.

According to a PlayStation news statement, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s layoffs will affect all regions, with its in-house London studio, which is responsible for the competitive singing video game “Singstar,” closing entirely.

“These are incredibly talented people who have contributed to our success, and we are very grateful,” said Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “However, the industry has changed immensely, and we need to future ready ourselves to set the business up for what lies ahead.”

sony

Sony To Lay Off 900 At PlayStation As Tough Times For The Video Games Industry Persist

According to Bloomberg, the personnel cut comes after the business lowered its sales expectations for the year and Naomi Matsuouka, Sony’s senior vice president, stated that the PlayStation 5 console was nearing the end of its lifecycle.

Ryan stated in September that he would resign as president of Sony Group Corporation in March. Hiroki Totoki, the COO and CFO, will serve as interim CEO.

sony

Sony To Lay Off 900 At PlayStation As Tough Times For The Video Games Industry Persist

The incoming CEO will face an entire tech sector in turmoil, with industry giants laying off 5,500 staff in the first two weeks of 2024 alone.

Specifically, the video gaming industry has seen employment losses from 2023 into this year, with Epic Games slashing 830 workers last September and Tencent’s Riot Games laying off 11% of its workforce in January.

sony

Sony To Lay Off 900 At PlayStation As Tough Times For The Video Games Industry Persist

In his email to employees, Ryan echoed the leadership of those other game firms, saying, “We had to step back, look at our business holistically, and move forward focusing on the company’s long-term sustainability and delivering the best experiences possible for our community.”

Sony Group Corporation’s (SONY) stock declined less than 1% after the announcement on Tuesday.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Kenneth Mitchell, ‘Star Trek’ And ‘Marvel’ Actor, Dead At 49

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Kenneth Mitchell, an actor who appeared in “Star Trek: Discovery” and Marvel’s “Captain Marvel,” has died, his family said in a statement posted on his verified social media account on Sunday.

He was 49.

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Kenneth Mitchell, ‘Star Trek’ And ‘Marvel’ Actor, Dead At 49

“With heavy hearts we announce the passing of Kenneth Alexander Mitchell, beloved father, husband, brother, uncle, son and dear friend,” according to a statement released by the family.

Kenneth was diagnosed with ALS in 2018. In recent years, he and his family have published frequent updates on his health status. Mitchell posted on Instagram in August to honour the fifth anniversary of his diagnosis.

“My brother joked that they don’t have a happy ALS anniversary card in the shop. However, today, I’d like to celebrate the gift of life. I am very grateful to have this day ahead of me. It has been a long five years. So much lost, so much gained. Mitchell stated, “Incredibly hard times, mixed with so many more blessings.” “At the core are friends and relatives, carers and physicians, who have repeatedly stepped in to help my family. Giving a great deal of support, love, care, and encouragement. That is very beautiful. This sickness is very horrible…Despite the suffering, there is much to be thankful for.”

Mitchell, a Canadian native, has appeared in over 50 films and television shows throughout his career. He portrayed Carol Danvers’ father in Marvel’s 2019 film “Captain Marvel,” and an Olympic hopeful in the 2004 hockey film “Miracle.” Mitchell has appeared in scores of television shows, including “Jericho,” “The Astronaut Wives Club,” and “Switched at Birth.”

mitchell

Kenneth Mitchell, ‘Star Trek’ And ‘Marvel’ Actor, Dead At 49

Mitchell played the Klingons Kol, Kol-Sha, Tenavik, and Aurellio in the television series “Star Trek: Discovery.”

“Whether someone is good or bad is all about perspective, and it’s about understanding that culture,” he told StarTrek.com in 2017. “You’ll get to know the Klingons on our show, and then people can decide if we really are the villains.”

Beyond his acting roles, Mitchell was remembered by those close to him as a “hope seeker, daydreamer, dream believer.” In a statement, Kenneth’s family expressed admiration for the strength he demonstrated while battling sickness.

mitchell

Kenneth Mitchell, ‘Star Trek’ And ‘Marvel’ Actor, Dead At 49

“Regardless of his later disabilities, Ken discovered a higher calling to be more fully himself for his kids,” they stated in the letter. “For five and a half years, Ken battled a slew of terrible obstacles with ALS. And, in true Ken manner, he rose above each one with grace and a determination to live a full and joyful life in every moment.

Kenneth is survived by his wife, Susan, and two young children.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Chris Gauthier, ‘Once Upon A Time’ And Hallmark Movies Actor, Dead At 48

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According to a statement on his agent’s website, Chris Gauthier, an actor best known for roles in “Once Upon a Time,” “Eureka,” and other well-known Hallmark Channel movies, passed away on February 23.

He was 48.

His agent, Chad Colvin, confirmed the news on Facebook, adding, “This still doesn’t feel real. How could it be? “A world without you is much darker.”

His reps verified the news to CNN.

gauthier

Chris Gauthier, ‘Once Upon A Time’ And Hallmark Movies Actor, Dead At 48

“So much so that when his wife contacted me with the news yesterday, I grieved for hours in shock. “It took me until now to fully mentally and emotionally prepare myself to write this,” Colvin wrote on Sunday. “When I started in the talent representation profession almost nine years ago this month, it was at the request of one specific actor. However, I realised I needed more clients to get started if any event would take my business venture seriously. Chris Gauthier was the second actor to join the cast after recalling my experience as a press member on the Eureka production.”

“He felt my excitement for this new endeavour, he trusted me and he had faith in what I wanted to do to get him out there with the public and fans more,” he said. “Without Chris’ excitement and devotion, I wouldn’t be able to book practically the whole Eureka cast. His word of mouth, trust, and unending love of life encouraged me every day.”

gauthier

Chris Gauthier, ‘Once Upon A Time’ And Hallmark Movies Actor, Dead At 48

Colvin cited Gauthier’s work on shows such as “Smallville” and “Supernatural,” as well as his role as William Smee on “Once Upon a Time.”

“Brother…Colvin commented, “I will miss you more than you can imagine.” “I wish we could have spent more time together and that you realised how much of an impact you had on my life and everyone else’s. “Without you, this world feels smaller and colder.”

Raphael Sbarge, the actor’s “Once Upon a Time” co-star, also expressed his condolences.

gauthier

Chris Gauthier, ‘Once Upon A Time’ And Hallmark Movies Actor, Dead At 48

“A sweeter, happier soul would be hard to find,” Sbarge wrote in the caption to a group photo he shared on his verified Instagram account. “A man of consummate character, generosity and great talent, he was someone who cared deeply, loved his art, and was always kind to everyone he met.”

Gauthier’s other credits include the TV shows “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Joe Pickett,” and various Hallmark TV movies, including “Ms. Christmas Comes to Town.”

“We’re sorry to learn of Chris Gauthier’s passing. “Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and fans.”

SOURCE – (CNN)

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