Peter Foley, longtime U.S. snowboard coach, no longer with U.S. Ski and Snowboard

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Peter Foley, the founding coach of the U.S. snowboard team in 1994 and a longtime coach of the snowboard cross program, is no longer with U.S. Ski and Snowboard.

As of last Sunday, “Peter Foley is no longer employed by U.S. Ski and Snowboard,” the organization said in a statement. “Mr. Foley has been on a leave of absence since February 21, 2022.”

Rob Fagen was named interim head coach while a search is on for a new snowboard cross head coach.

U.S. Ski and Snowboard did not say why Foley, its 2021 Coach of the Year in snowboarding, was no longer with the program, nor why he was on a leave of absence.

Last Friday, Foley was issued a temporary suspension by the U.S. Center for SafeSport due to allegations of misconduct that it did not specify. The center opened in 2017 to handle harassment and other abuse allegations inside U.S. sports.

During last month’s Olympics, U.S. Ski and Snowboard was investigating allegations that Foley took naked pictures of female athletes and that Olympic snowboard cross rider Hagen Kearney used racist language to provoke a teammate in 2014.

Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, a retired 2010 Olympian, wrote in a February Instagram post that in addition to taking the photos, Foley had made inappropriate comments, and that Kearney repeatedly used the N-word to “intentionally get under my skin.”

Chythlook-Sifsof is from Alaska and describes herself as Yupik and Inupiaq.

Nine days before Foley was put on leave, U.S. Ski & Snowboard released a statement during the Games that said it “takes all allegations seriously. Peter Foley remains as U.S. Snowboardcross team head coach while all recent allegations are being investigated.”

Foley said during the Games that he was surprised by the allegations in a text to The Associated Press.

“I vehemently deny the allegations,” he continued. “I’m doing my best to concentrate on supporting the athletes at the Olympics.”

Kearney posted on Instagram during the Olympics that he faced expulsion from the team after the episode with Chythlook-Sifsof, and apologized shortly after.

“I did not have the same head on my shoulders back then as I do now and Callan was a huge part of me changing and growing as a human,” Kearney said.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said in a statement during the Olympics: “We take all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously and follow protocols to ensure it is reported and managed properly.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Shaun White makes Olympic snowboarding team as oldest U.S. halfpipe rider ever

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Shaun White was named to his fifth and likely final Olympic team, as expected, and will become the oldest U.S. halfpipe rider in Winter Games history.

The full snowboard roster was announced Friday.

White, a three-time gold medalist, leads a men’s halfpipe team of underdogs for medals in China. White made one podium in five contests since returning from a three-year break last year. Riders from Japan and Australia are the favorites.

White, 35, will break the retired Kelly Clark‘s record as the oldest U.S. Olympic halfpipe rider. He is also older than any previous male halfpipe rider from any nation in Olympic history, according to Olympedia.org.

The rest of the men’s halfpipe team: 2014 Olympian Taylor Gold, 2018 Olympian Chase Josey and first-timer Lucas Foster.

MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for 2022 Winter Olympics

Defending Olympic champion Chloe Kim and fellow medal threat Maddie Mastro previously qualified in women’s halfpipe. Coaches announced two more riders Friday — first-time Olympians Zoe Kalapos and Tessa Maud.

The snowboard cross team includes the oldest athlete on the entire U.S. Olympic team — 40-year-old Nick Baumgartner — and now-five-time Olympian Lindsey Jacobellis. Both previously qualified, as did Hagen Kearney and Faye Gulini. The new additions announced Friday: 2019 World champion Mick Dierdorff, 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Alex Deibold, Stacy Gaskill and Meghan Tierney.

The U.S. earned two spots in parallel giant slalom, both men, and filled them with Cody Winters and Robby Burns.

In slopestyle, defending gold medalists Jamie Anderson and Red Gerard previously qualified. As did returning Olympians Hailey Langland and Chris Corning and first-time Olympian Dusty Henricksen.

The final riders were Julia Marino, Courtney Rummel and Sean FitzSimons, who won a competition in Switzerland last week and beat out Brock Crouch for the last spot. That’s notable given Crouch survived life-altering injuries after being buried for several minutes in an avalanche four years ago.

In freestyle skiing, the last Olympic roster spots were also announced Friday:

Aerials: Eric Loughran, Ashley Caldwell, Kaila Kuhn
Halfpipe: Birk Irving, Devin Logan, Carly Margulies
Moguls: Kai Owens, Cole McDonald, Nick Page, Dylan Walczyk, Bradley Wilson
Ski Cross: Tyler Wallasch
Slopestyle/Big Air: Nick Goepper, Caroline Claire, Marin Hamill, Darian Stevens

Many Olympic medal contenders previously qualified, including two-time Olympic halfpipe champion David Wise.

A notable is Margulies, who last competed in an International Ski Federation event in December 2019 and was cleared to return to skiing last week, one month after surgery for a torn medial meniscus in her left knee. Margulies has had at least six knee surgeries, according to U.S. Ski and Snowboard.

“I was told by doctors that the tear was so significant that surgery was a non negotiable and i was looking at a 6 to 9 month recovery,” was posted on her social media last month. “i was basically told my olympic dreams were crushed and in that moment i decided i could never go through something like this again therefore my competitive career was over.

“Fast forward to a few days later, i received good news that there was a chance this meniscus would not be repairable resulting in a snip of the damaged area and only a 4 to 6 week recovery!”

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Eva Samková, Olympic snowboarding champion, to miss Beijing Winter Games

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Czech Eva Samková, the 2014 Olympic snowboard cross champion, will miss the Beijing Games due to an ankle injury that has kept her out of competition since early December.

Samková, last season’s World Cup leader, needed surgery on the ankle and, after six weeks of rehab, announced she will not be able to return in time for the Olympics, according to the Czech ski and snowboard federation.

Samková, 28, vowed that she will eventually return to competition once healed.

Samková followed junior world titles in 2010, 2011 and 2013 with gold in her Olympic debut in Sochi, posting the fastest time in the seeding round and then sweeping quarterfinal, semifinal and final races.

She took bronze in 2018, when Italian Michela Moioli won.

In 2021, Samková won four of her eight World Cup starts before being sidelined by the injury.

The Olympic favorites are Great Britain’s Charlotte Bankes, the reigning world champion and current World Cup standings leader, and Moioli.

American Lindsey Jacobellis, going to her fifth Olympics, finished third in the two most recent World Cups won by Bankes.

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