I like to post cold weather events under the facetious title "Global warming my a$$," to point out the ludicrousness (word?) of using a single weather data point as counter-evidence of a trend. Well, here's my equally facetious attempt to use a single data point as evidence of a trend. Just in the interest of being balanced.
The halfpipe at the Sochi Games "is garbage," one prominent snowboarder told Yahoo Sports, and the across-the-board backlash against it from riders continued to build as the IOC postponed snowboarding practice Monday morning and tried to salvage the pipe's integrity amid warming temperatures.
American Danny Davis, one of the sport's most respected figures, said the pipe's flat bottom – the area that serves as a transition between the 22-foot-tall walls on each side – is bumpy and full of sugary snow, causing significant problems for riders. Two other sources confirmed Davis' concerns, with one calling the halfpipe "unsalvageable."
"It's the Olympics. It should be flawless," Davis told Yahoo Sports. "What a lame showcase of snowboarding, and what a lame way to treat the athletes."
Temperatures in the Sochi area climbed into the mid-50s on Monday, complicating efforts to reshape the pipe and address riders' concerns. Morning halfpipe practice was canceled and postponed until 7:20 p.m. local time, allowing cutters time to address the issues that are more related to performance – the bad flat bottoms slows down riders and throws off their lines – than safety.
The money quote: "...what a lame way to treat the athletes..."