Shaun White Weighs in on Sochi Course Criticism


Shaun White in Sochi having shed his black plumage as he does in every four year cycle.

A few Sochi 2014 slopestyle competitors are still having grumbles about the course design, even after the jump heights were reduced by around two feet each. El Blanco himself claims that the run is a little scary, saying, “It puts a damper on the whole mood and it’s kind of like you’re getting ready to do a big trick and you see something like that. Intimidating.”

After tweaking his wrist in practice yesterday he might have a point, though it would appear that he is joining a minority here. The Canadians appear to be loving it, with Spencer O’Brien and Karly Piper-Shorr reportedly amongst the first women to step up to the big jumps.

X Games silver and gold medalists Mark McMorris and Maxence Parrot were both in agreement too, Parrot chirping in, “The jumps were not perfect yesterday, but I still had fun. Today it was perfect. I don’t think it can get much better.”

Snowboarding’s dangerous. But crossing the street is dangerous, too.

So nothing can get better than perfect? Thanks Max. Mr McMorris put it slightly better: “I don’t think it’s dangerous. Snowboarding’s dangerous. But crossing the street is dangerous, too.”

More eloquent stuff there. One thing we’ve learned for sure with all this Olympic madness is that getting quotes from top-level ‘athletes’ is about as thrilling as listening to the voice-over track on the Art Of Flight wearing a blindfold with everything else on mute.

Billy Morgan gets a lipslide in on the Sochi top section, Stalin it out.

Whilst the mainstream media seems to be focusing on the jumps and the rail that saw Torstein off (it’s very weird Google-ing Horgmo and being hit with the Guardian), it’s the other features that are getting flack from on the ground. An anonymous source says, in reference to the wave rail: “You mean the 1997 piece of dog shit? No one is touching that – or the ride on box next to it. FIS is trying to look big and impressive but they don’t get it.”

But again, the course has been well received by others – in other words, as with every event, some folk like the set-up and others don’t.

It is a beast though, and after seeing it in full for the first time yesterday opinions on the web range from “Sooo big (that’s what she said),” to bewilderment as to why the event staff seemed to had hidden “all the downed bodies of injured Olympians scattered along the course.”

Whatever you can say about the size of the course, we’re still pretty pleased that ‘anti-gay’ Russia has painted all the features in a rather fetching shade of pink, as well as giving all the staff nice rainbow coloured gloves.

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