In January 2001 Shaun Palmer won his fifth gold medal at the ESPN Winter X Games and February 12 ESPN crowned him Action Sports Athlete of the Year at the ESPY Awards. Other recipients that day included Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan. Details Magazine titled Shaun Athlete of the Year in 1998, and eight years ago USA Today touted him as the World’s Greatest Athlete in a cover story.
Shaun has many reasons to be confident… in 1996, he decided he would try Downhill Mountain Biking, a sport he had never trained in. He climbed onto a bike, hit the hills and shocked the pro tour by promptly winning two events and missing first place at the World Championships by just a small part of a second (.15 to be exact).
He was immediately given a pro sponsorship by Specialized Bicycles and a major endorsement deal with Swatch Watches. Swatch later developed a Shaun Palmer Access watch, which to date has sold more than 150,000 units.
In 1998, during his break between snowboarding and mountain biking seasons, Shaun competed in the Toyota Celebrity Grand Prix and won the event even ahead of the pros in the race. In 2001, going head to head with the world’s best professional skiers, Shaun won the Skiercross at the ESPN Winter X Games in Mt. Snow, Vermont and at the Gravity Games on Mammoth Mountain.
“There are a lot of great athletes out there. But all the great athletes are only doing one sport. No one’s trying what I’m trying,” said Palmer of his multi-sport career.
In 2003, Shaun tackled another sport he calls his real love, motorcycle racing on the Supercross tour. “I’ve gotten all the speed I can out of gravity. It’s time to try a motor,” he said. In his first professional race at the Los Angeles Coliseum, “The Palm” qualified for his first AMA 125cc Supercross main event. This type of immediate success in Supercross is virtually unheard of.
Shaun’s popularity continued to grow as Activision, Inc. developed a Shaun Palmer Pro Snowboarder game for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system.
In his spare time Shaun collects vintage Cadillacs cars and enjoys all types of water sports and golf. When not training for one sport or another, Shaun serves as the CEO of Palmer Snowboards, founded in 1995.