Shaun White, was half-pipe snowboarding an ancient sport?

I was watching TV the other night on a show about Shaun White.  Since I don't follow the Olympics I didn't know that half-pipe snowboarding was an event.  My old-fashioned ideas of the Olympics are that these were sporting events from ancient Greece performed by amateur athletes.

That's why I was so surprised when the "dream team" basketball team was put together.  Somehow the Olympics were turned into fabulous money making machines complete with big money, sex scandals and the like.

So here is Shaun White practicing on a secret, half-pipe built by his sponsor Red Bull that can only be accessed by charter helicopter.  At his mansion he keeps his Murcielago (around $ 400,000).

Would someone please post a comment or two and tell me how and when all this happened?