I appreciated the admission that his big brother is his driving force because he is better than Shaun at everything. Since childhood he was so driven because he was simply trying to keep up.
I'm guessing Red Bull financed the halfpipe, but $10M per year is pretty insane income for a fringe sport athlete.
Snowboarding isn't fringe. There are probably more dollars dumped into snowboarding than skateboarding at this point, and i don't consider skateboarding fringe at all. If you skate, you buy a board, maybe a helmet and some sneakers. $200 tops. If you board, you buy a board, bindings, boots, a shell, and multiple lift tickets ~$700 to start.
Shaun is lucky in that by time he came along, there was already an established infrastructure and business model for him to get sponsored and promoted on national/worlwide TV. Snowboarding is even an Olympic sport! That's pretty ridiculous if you compare Shaun to Tony Hawk....
Tony (and his contemporaries) had to make their own way their entire lives while largely being ignored by 'mainstream' pop culture. Skateboarding has been a viable sport for way longer than snowboarding with more participants than snowboarding.... yet it isn't an Olympic sport.
The difference is the median age of the participants and how much money the industry has to lobby the Olympic games committees.