Elite Snowboarder Danny Davis angry over Sochi Halfpipe Conditions

danny-davis-sochi-olympicsWe’ve already heard plenty about the bizarre and sometimes third-world-country conditions at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Hotel rooms with no hot water, double toilets in stalls and endless stray dogs are just the beginning of the conditions that media members and athletes alike have been baffled over. But what American snowboarder Danny Davis recently complained about has nothing to do with hotel rooms or wandering dogs…

No, Davis is upset over what he perceives to be appalling conditions on the Sochi halfpipe course. His beef is with the halfpipe’s flat bottom, or rather the ground area in between the 22-foot walls on each side. He says that the flat bottom is bumpy and full of powdery snow, which makes it both difficult and dangerous for the athletes to perform their best. “It’s the Olympics. It should be flawless,” he said. “What a lame showcase of snowboarding, and what a lame way to treat the athletes.”

danny-davis-sochi-olympics-1The IOC has since postponed Monday morning’s halfpipe in an effort to work on salvaging the course. The big problem is that temperatures in Sochi have reached the 50s, which means that it’s tough to reshape the snow and keep it flattened out. Earlier, snowboarders voiced complaints about the pipe’s vertical edges and these were reshaped to fit Olympic standards. However, many riders think that this may have impacted the flat bottom.

From a betting standpoint, these problems and warm temperatures (by Winter Olympics standards) definitely throw a wrench in things. This is especially the case when you consider that many online sportsbooks have given Shaun White astronomically large odds of winning the gold at 1-2. Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov is the next closest favorite at 5-1 odds of winning, while Davis closely follows him at 6-1 odds.

But with as down as Davis is about the pipe, you may want to hold off before taking him at 6-1 odds. “The IOC probably didn’t want to pay the right guys to do it,” he said. “I’m pretty sure what they’re focused on is keeping as much money in their hands as possible. That’s the shame of it all. All these kids, myself included, worked very hard to get here. And then the pipe is just no fun and boring and (expletive). Halfpipe is super fun, but riding a crappy pipe and having to perform in it is the worst.”

Hopefully everything gets ironed out with the flat bottom before the competition officially begins on Tuesday.