Snowboarders at Sochi have had a lot to say about the course conditions. On Tuesday though, Ben Bright, the coach of Australian snowboarder and defending champion Torah Bright, went on an epic rant against the conditions.
After seeing his sister crash and hit her head on a practice run, he spared no ill word for the oversight of the halfpipe.
He told the Sydney Morning Herald, “I’ve come to the point of being diplomatic, but it’s actually very shit. It’s come down to the final hour, the final minute. The men’s contest is going live to the world and the Federation of International Skiing has let ego get in the way of a good contest. They barely got it [right] in Vancouver [at the Olympics in 2010] and they haven’t got it here. So f**k. Surprise surprise.”
He continued, “It is dangerous at the moment. You’ve got a mixed event going on – moguls and halfpipe together – so it’s f**king retarded … I’ve gone from being mellow about it to, ‘What the f**k is going on?'”
Bright said he thought it was foolish for the FIS to not use Snowpark Technologies, the most trusted company for constructing snow sport courses, including for the X Games, the US Open and the Dew Tour. Bright blamed the lack of cooperation on stubborn national pride.
He said, “They wanted to show that they could do it better than old Uncle Sam. That’s what’s on everyone’s tongues. That’s what is coming out of the athletes’ mouths. It might be time to give snowboarding back to the snowboarders.”
The main gripe with the halfpipe is the bottom of it. The flat portion is considered too chewed up to be rideable.
The race director of the FIS, Uwe Beier, admitted the halfpipe had flaws, but blamed the weather rather than the construction. Beier said, “The pipe conditions were not ideal at the first two trainings … The weather conditions and a mix of other issues [machinery, maintenance, etc.] seemed to have made it difficult. However, we are ensuring that the team working there is doing everything possible to solve the situation as soon as possible.”