Snapshots: Swiss skier Lara Gut says course sucks

Switzerland's Lara Gut takes a jump during the women's alpine skiing Super G competition at the...

Switzerland's Lara Gut takes a jump during the women's alpine skiing Super G competition at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center February 15, 2014. (REUTERS)

STEVE BUFFERY, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 1:34 PM ET

SOCHI, RUSSIA - Swiss skier Lara Gut lashed out at the Super G course designer on Saturday after 18 of the 49 starters failed to finish the race as the number of skiers who skied out set a new Olympic super combined record.

"Everybody was crashing around. It's difficult to stay on your skis, you are constantly losing them," said Gut, who finished fourth. "I don't know if this is the best way to show off our skiing. It's not a race, you are just trying to come down. This is a disaster, it was a shame for everybody."

Gut's criticisms were directed at course setter Florian Winkler, who also is the Austrian alpine coach. His skiers won gold and bronze in the race. Winkler brushed aside suggestions the course wasn't fair.

"It's a fair course," he said. "You have to ski technically. It's not a simple course. At the long turn (before the final jump where a large number of skiers skied out) you have to ski tactically. Like with Formula One, you can't always go in full gas, you have to take tactics. I was surprised by the number of girls who skied out -- it was a day of mistakes for many."

A pair of Canadians, Larisa Yurkiw of Owen Sound Ont., and Marie-Michele Gagnon of Lac-Etchemin, Que., failed to finish the race. Marie-Pier Prefontaine of Saint-Sauveur, Que. ended up 20th.

SAD NEWS

Russian freestyle skier Maria Komissarova of Russia crashed during training on Saturday at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park and was immediately transported from the PSX stadium to the No. 8 Hospital in Krasnaya Polyana where doctors decided to operate. The Russian News Agency Interfax reported that Kosmissarova, 23, suffered a serious spinal injury. She was ranked 33rd in the World Cup standings.

TALK ABOUT BAD LUCK

German slalom skier Felix Neureuther, the 2013 world championships silver medallist, didn't even make it to Sochi without getting hurt. Neureuther crashed his car on the way to the Munich airport, hitting a barrier while driving in icy conditions on Friday morning, suffering whiplash and bruising, though he is confident that he'll be fine for his event next Saturday.

NICE GUYS FINISH FOURTH

American snowboarding star Shaun White missed out on winning his third Olympic gold in the halfpipe but he won kudos for giving away his snowboards to three young cancer survivors who had been flown to Sochi to see him compete by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. After his qualifying run on Tuesday, White met the kids and the next day gave them the snowboards he had used in Sochi.

HE IOC HAS GONE TO POT

The IOC has decided to keep marijuana on the banned list because, according to Professor Arner Ljungqvist, chairman of the IOC medical commission, marijuana "can be a performance-enhancing stimulant."

(Perhaps if you're competing in a pie-eating contest).

DAZED AND CONCUSED

Women's skeleton silver medallist Noelle Pikus-Pace of the U.S. announced she had suffered concussion, not back problems as previously stated, during training. However, she then changed her story at a subsequent press conference saying she did not in fact have a concussion, just light fatigue and dizziness. (Apparently none of the American team doctors made it through medical school).

LA DI DA

Princess Alexandra of Hanover, the only child of Ernst August, the Prince of Hanover, and Caroline, Hereditary Princess of Monaco, is a big figure skating fan and got to meet the medallists from the men's singles competition on Friday night -- Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, Patrick Chan of Canada and Denis Ten of Kazakhstan. The 14-year-old princess competed in figure skating at the junior level.

(Chan called the meeting a 14-year-old failed figure skater the highlight of his night. Seriously).

MR. ANNOYING

The guy pounding the drum at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the figure skating competition is head of the Imperial Russian Ballet Company and has attended every Olympic Games since Athens 2004. "I cheer for everyone," said Gediminas Taranda. "Everybody is my friend."

(Everybody with the exception of the saps in the media tribune trying to put two sentences together).

WASHED AWAY

There is a notice in the media toilets at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park that reads: "Please don't flush paper towels, sanitary towels, gum, old phones, unpaid bills, hopes, dreams or goldfish down this toilet."

(Apparently it's perfectly fine to flush new phones and paid bills).

PASS THE HORSE

While some restaurants around the world have been caught substituting horse meat for finer cuts of beef and serving it to unsuspecting diners, Russian menus are more honest. In one Sochi cafe the description of the sausages reads: "beef, horse meat, beef fat, sodium salt, spices, sodium nitrite".

(Enema's are optional).

QUOTES OF THE DAY

"We can surf anything. If it's hard ice, we're ready, if it's super slushy we're ready. Either, or."

- Canadian snowboarder Jasey Jay Anderson.

"I hope now they're not going to mix us up with Slovakia anymore."

- Slovenia forward Anze Kopitar after his team's 3-1 upset over Slovakia.

"It is basically a demon's head that is breathing out fire through skulls. I wanted something scary and edgy to show my funky side."

-Canadian skeleton athlete Eric Neilson on his 'dead demon' helmet to showcase his 'bad-ass' side.

steve.buffery@sunmedia.ca

twitter @beezersun


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