Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

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"Brutal": Top Snowboarders Shaun White, Danny Davis Pan "Brutal" Sochi Halfpipe on Eve of Competition

Olympic snowboarders say the halfpipe course in Sochi isn't worthy, and there's only a day to fix it.

By Jon Schuppe
|  Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014  |  Updated 4:38 AM EDT
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Dangerous Games

AP

Snowboarders complained after weekend training sessions that the halfpipe wasn't ready for proper competition.

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Snowboarders are panning the conditions of the halfpipe course in Sochi, saying it is not in proper shape for competition. And there isn't much time to fix it: the event begins Tuesday.

Riders spent the weekend testing the halfpipe and immediately began delivering harsh critiques.

"It's brutal, and all you can do is kinda laugh in there," Australian Torah Bright, the reigning Olympic women's gold medalist, reportedly told Network Ten.

American Danny Davis called the halfpipe "garbage."

"What a lame showcase of snowboarding, and what lame way to treat the athletes," Davis told Yahoo Sports.

The first round of complaints were that the halfpipe was too narrow and its 22-foot walls too vertical. Designers from Development Snowparks of New Zealand made fixes but may have created new problems on the bottom, where riders said there were jarring bumps.

"So everyone is riding along and then hits the bump, and that's really not very good," defending gold medalist Shaun White told USA Today.  White's attempt at a third straight gold medal is scheduled to start Tuesday afternoon.

Organizers moved the third training run from Monday morning to Monday evening, and said they'd talk to athletes for guidance in making sure the course will be ready for competition Tuesday.

"I'm sure it will be," White said. "I have faith."

The weather isn't making things any easier. Temperatures in Sochi topped 60 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday, making the snow soft and "sugary."

The harsh reactions to the course conditions underscore a broader dispute within the snowboarding community. Many athletes prefer courses on the pro tour, which are not designed by the architect contracted by skiing's international governing body, FIS, which oversees Olympic snowboarding events.

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