Tue February 11, 2014
Shaun White Goes For 'Three-Peat'; India's Team Gets Its Flag
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:55 pm
There's big news for Team India as Day 5 of the games gets underway and potentially historic news for the man known to millions as The Flying Tomato.
After a standoff between the Indian Olympic Association and the International Olympic Committee, the three athletes from India can now officially compete for their country. Until today, they were competing under the Olympic flag, as "independent athletes," in cross-country skiing, Alpine slalom skiing and luge.
NPR's Julie McCarthy previously explained the issue:
"The International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in December 2012 for electing officials who were facing criminal corruption charges stemming from the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. It's a violation of the Olympic code that India was made aware of but did little to rectify. The IOC also demanded that India's Sports Ministry stop interfering politically with the IOA, a charge that other governments, including Kuwait and Panama, have also faced."
This past Sunday, the Indian Olympic Association elected a new set of officials. That allowed the country's athletes to take part in a special flag-raising ceremony in the Olympic Village on Tuesday — and to now be their nation's official representatives at the games.
Tuesday's other news:
-- Canada starts the day leading the medal count with nine. Four of those are gold. The United States has six, after U.S. ladies slopestyle skier Devin Logan took second in her event early Tuesday. In the same event, Canadian Yuki Tsubota of Canada crashed on the course. The Associated Press reports she may have a fractured jaw.
Anders Forsell, who designed the slopestyle ski and snowboard courses, recently defended their design, after some athletes called them too dangerous. He's been making adjustments to the courses throughout the games. "It's always a tough process," he told ESPN. "It's a lot of pressure to come in and build the first Olympic course, but we are doing our best to make everyone happy. It's very important to listen to the riders. It's their course. They ride it and need to have as good conditions as possible. If they are happy, I am happy and we are going to have a good show. That's why we are here."
-- By the end of Tuesday, medals will have been handed out in biathlon, cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing, luge, snowboard, ski jumping and speed skating.
The American stars competing today include snowboarder Shaun White, who's looking to become "the first U.S. man to three-peat at the Winter Olympics," as Entertainment Weekly says (yes, snowboarding is a sport that certainly seems to cross genres into the entertainment world).
White, who has cut off the long locks that earned him the "Flying Tomato" nickname in past games, has "a shot at becoming the first American male to win gold in three straight Winter Games," as the Boston Globe puts it. He's competing in the halfpipe. The finals in that competition are due to start at 12:30 p.m. ET.