Shaun White

Shaun White documentary ‘Russia Calling’ to air Saturday (video)

Leave a comment

“Shaun White: Russia Calling,” a documentary about the snowboarder’s preparation for the Sochi Olympics, will air on NBC on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.

In the hour-long show, White is seen practicing new tricks, including this attention-grabbing moment described by The Associated Press:

Practicing a trick nobody has ever attempted in a halfpipe, White’s board gets caught up on the lip. His head and neck whiplash violently against the top of the pipe. Helmet and goggles go flying and White lands with a thud on the bottom, 22 feet below.

The trick was a triple cork, one White won’t try at the Olympics, according to the AP. White will attempt to win his third straight Olympic title in the halfpipe in Sochi as well as compete in the first Olympic slopestyle competition.

“A lot of the footage you’re seeing is me trying to break down a barrier in my own head and my mindset to get this done,” White said, according to the AP. “It doesn’t work that easily sometimes. This is the real story of what’s going on and what happens to athletes.”

The documentary also follows White through training, including submerging into cold lakes to combat swelling, his charity work and his time with his band, Bad Things, whose debut album was released Tuesday.

What it’s like to be lead singer in Shaun White’s band

Chinese figure skating judges banned for biased Olympic scoring

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Two Chinese figure skating judges were suspended by the International Skating Union for biased judging at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Chen Weiguang and Huang Feng had “preferential marking” for top Chinese skaters Jin Boyang (fourth place in PyeongChang) and the silver medalist pairs’ team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, respectively, according to the ISU.

Chen was banned two years and excluded from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Huang got a one-year ban.

Chen awarded her highest grades of execution scores of the men’s competition to Jin, as well as her second-highest program components scores, trailing only gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Both sets of scores, in both the short and long programs, were out of line with the other eight judges.

“There is evidence of preference for the Chinese skater and prejudice against his strongest competitors,” an ISU report read. “Her marks were completely unrealistic.”

The pairs’ judge Huang “obviously favored his pair also vis-à-vis the other top candidates for the Olympic gold medal,” the ISU said in a report, referencing inflated scores for Sui and Han and lower scores for gold and bronze medalists Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada.

Huang was warned one month before the Olympics by the ISU for biased judging at the December 2017 Grand Prix Final pairs’ event.

Both suspensions are subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Adam Rippon opines on figure skating future

Javier Fernandez to skip Grand Prix, still compete next season

Getty Images
1 Comment

Javier Fernandez, who in PyeongChang became the first Spanish Olympic figure skating medalist, will skip the fall Grand Prix series but return for January’s European Championships, which could be his final competition.

Europeans will be Fernandez’s focus for the season, his agent said Tuesday.

Fernandez, 26, added an Olympic bronze medal to his 2015 and 2016 World titles. He has said that his third Olympics in PyeongChang would be his last. But Fernandez did not say he would retire after the Winter Games, though he did skip the world championships in March.

Fernandez now plans to compete in his 13th straight European Championships in Minsk in January. He won the last six titles. It’s unknown if he will continue on to the world championships in Saitama, Japan, in March.

In Fernandez’s absence, the top male singles skaters in the fall Grand Prix season should be double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno and American Nathan Chen, who was fifth at the Olympics after a disastrous short program but ran away with March’s world title by the largest margin in history.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Adam Rippon opines on figure skating future