Olympic snowboarder Shaun White is going for his third straight gold medal in the halfpipe in Sochi, but even he’s hoping the event gets pushed back.
The warm weather in Sochi has been a problem for some of the outdoor events already this Olympic season, but it appears the halfpipe might be in the worst shape of all. Some snowboarders have complained about the poor quality of the pipe, and some are even pushing to get the event postponed.
American Danny Davis was outspoken about the halfpipe conditions, telling Yahoo! Sports that the pipe’s bottom — the flat surface between the 22-foot walls on either side — is bumpy and unkempt.
“It’s the Olympics. It should be flawless,” Davis said. “What a lame showcase of snowboarding, and what a lame way to treat the athletes.”
Monday morning’s halfpipe practice was canceled as temperatures rose into the mid-50s and conditions raised concerns for many of the riders. Pipe cutter John Melville, who is in charge of shaping and maintaining the structure, blamed television broadcasters for the problems, telling Yahoo! that his team couldn’t properly treat the halfpipe because broadcasters were weary of the noise it might make.
“I just hope they can fix this one,” Davis said. “Hopefully they can pull it together for a contest. The fact is, everyone will be shredding the same pipe. We all have the same thing to ride. We just want it to be good.”
As for White, the world-class snowboarder said the conditions are making his tricks more difficult than usual. White already pulled out of the slopestyle competition, citing that course’s conditions.
Not good: Shaun White says low quality of halfpipe makes throwing his cab double 1440 very difficult. That's his big trick.—
Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 10, 2014
Check out a shot of the halfpipe from American snowboarder Kelly Clark’s Instagram page.
Photo via Twitter/@_SurfParadise