Half-Baked Halfpipe: Olympic Event Postponed to Fix 'Unsalvageable' Course

Olympic snowboarders called the Sochi halfpipe “garbage” and “unsalvagable” in a Yahoo! Sports article Monday. The International Olympic Committee has responded to criticisms by postponing Monday’s competition in an eleventh-hour attempt to fix problems.

“It’s the Olympics. It should be flawless,” snowboarder Danny Davis told Yahoo! Sports. “What a lame showcase of snowboarding, and what a lame way to treat the athletes.”

Complaints include the structure’s bottom, which feels more like moguls than the flat surface it’s supposed to be; the more vertical angle of the half-pipe’s sides; and the composition of the man-made snow within the apparatus. Temperatures, and the chemicals used to keep the surface cold, have been cited as a problem.

Warm weather has plagued the Sochi games, with a Czech snowboarder cracking her helmet on the hard, man-made snow in the slopestyle competition and an American speed skater blaming humidity for slower times in his event. 

Shaun White, who dropped out of the Slopestyle competition citing safety concerns over the course to concentrate on the halfpipe, goes for his third gold medal in the fledgling Olympic event. Competition is scheduled to resume on Tuesday after the fixes. 

“The IOC probably didn’t want to pay the right guys to do it,” Davis told Yahoo! Sports. “I’m pretty sure what they’re focused on is keeping as much money in their hands as possible.”

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