Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

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Shaun White on Obama, His New Nickname & "The Best Victory Run of My Life"

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    U.S. Olympian Shaun White earned Presidential kudos for his gold medal snowboarding run at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver – words that impressed Shaun himself.

    "Shaun White's secret training facility up on Silverton Mountain paid off," President Barack Obama said earlier this week during a speech in Colorado, where the snowboarder trained for the games.

    "He's basically talking about me inventing the tricks out there," Shaun told Access Hollywood's Billy Bush after reading Obama's remarks out loud. "Not bad to have Obama talking about you… the day gets better!"

    And the President's not the only one who's a fan of the red-haired medalist.

    "After the Olympics last time around, I'd walk through the airport and the whole airport would start to [applaud]… It was out of like a crazy movie, it's like the slow clap. You just throw the arm up, 'Rocky' style," Shaun told Billy.

    This time around, though, Shaun explained he's got a new nickname – one not based on his famous hair.

    "I like the new nickname because apparently I resemble the drummer from 'The Muppets,'" he told Billy, adding that the "Flying Tomato" era was over. "I thought Shaun 'The Animal' White had a good ring to it."

    The star, who hadn't slept since his medal victory – which he punctuated by unveiling a brand-new trick, the McTwist 1260, on his final run – told Billy he'll have a hard time keeping his eyes dry once he steps up to the medal stand.

    "I'm going to try not to [cry] but they go for it. They get you," he said. "They put your whole family – imagine, you're sitting there and they put your mom in front of you and she's just bawling and then your dad's like this tough, rugged guy but he's shedding a single tear. They cut you deep, man."

    While Shaun's looking forward to his opportunities following the games, the athlete was still buzzing from landing his high-flying trick.

    "I wanted to deliver," he said. "And I had the best victory run of my life."

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