American Snowboarder Danny Davis Rips Sochi Halfpipe Conditions

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2014

USA Today

Sochi's Winter Olympics venue incurred ongoing criticism from athletes this week after the United States' Danny Davis shared his thoughts on the halfpipe.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports says that one prominent, unnamed snowboarder has described the setup as "garbage," while Davis had similar views, noting: "It's the Olympics. It should be flawless. What a lame showcase of snowboarding, and what a lame way to treat the athletes."

Following the complaints, reported alterations were being made:

Olympic halfpipe practice was postponed Monday so workers can correct a pipe that has brought complaints from many riders....

...Riders have been talking to halfpipe shapers since the first day of practice Saturday, asking for tweaks -- a routine occurrence in this sport.

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 06:  (BROADCAST-OUT)   Danny Davis of the USA Snowboarding team poses in the Rosa Khutor Mountain Village ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on February 6, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Passan's report goes on to claim that Davis' main concern lies with the transition between the two 22-foot-high walls. The bottom of the halfpipe has been described as "bumpy and full of sugary snow," which makes for less-than-ideal conditions.

Development Snowparks are the New Zealand-based company responsible for the Games' halfpipe contract, and it has already made alterations to the course.

Sergei Grits/Associated Press

This isn't the first time that athletes in Sochi have been unafraid to give a less-than-raving review of the course put before them.

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Last week, BBC Sport's Nick Hope reported Shaun White as saying that the slopestyle course was "intimidating," before he pulled out of the event. The Associated Press' Pat Graham (h/t ABC News) also told of how downhill-skiing practice had to be halted in order to shave down one of the jumps.

Fox Sports quote Australia's Torah Bright as saying the halfpipe is too narrow, meaning riders can't hit the biggest tricks:

Davis goes on to say that his only concern is producing great entertainment on the pipe:

"I just hope they can fix this one. Hopefully they can pull it together for a contest. The fact is, everyone will be shredding the same pipe. We all have the same thing to ride. We just want it to be good."

ASPEN, CO - JANUARY 23:  Danny Davis takes a practice run prior to the men's snowboard superpipe eliminations at Winter X-Games 2014 Aspen at Buttermilk Mountain on January 23, 2014 in Aspen, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Concerns are acceptable, given that this competition is the very pinnacle of its field, and the Winter Olympics should be the one place in which optimum riding conditions are a given.

Davis, along with other snowboarders, would appear to be of the assumption that what they are receiving is below that standard. Hopefully any tweaks made to correct the pipe will be to the riders' liking to allow them to focus on their routines heading into one of the most important events of their lives.

The last thing Olympic officials need during the games is for there to be an uproar from both the riders and spectators, as that would remove the focus from the sport and competitions.