Slopestyle silver medallist Julia Marino of the United States says the International Olympic Committee wouldn’t allow her to compete in the Olympic snowboard big air contest due to the logo on her board.
The 24-year-old Marino was set to jump 23rd in the 30-snowboarder field during qualifying yesterday, just ahead of 2018 gold medalist Anna Gasser of Austria. It was a surprise when she didn’t appear.
At the time, Team USA snowboarding said in a statement that Marino fell during practice a few days ago and is “prioritising her health.”
Marino’s scratch was a late decision. The Connecticut resident shared a video of herself practising at Big Air Shougang on Instagram about 12 hours before qualifying began, encouraging followers to tune in.
She later revealed the “Prada” logo, which was seen on her board when she claimed a silver medal in the snowboard slopestyle earlier in the Beijing Games, would result in disqualification if not removed.
“For everyone asking, the night before the big air [competition], the IOC told me they no longer approved my board even (though) they approved it for slope,” Marino wrote on Instagram story.
“They told me I would be disqualified if I didn’t cover the logo and obligated me to literally draw on the base of my board with a sharpie.
“For those who don’t know, the base of a board is important for your speed and not meant to have anything on it but wax, having marker and other things on the bottom basically defeats the purpose.”
In that same Instagram post, she said the “distraction” affected her both mentally and physically, resulting in her decision not to risk “further injury”.
“Anyway, I dropped into the jump to see how the tailbone felt after taking a slam the other day in practice and after my base (was) altered, I had no speed for the jump and wasn’t able to clear it several times. Was just feeling pretty physically and mentally drained from this distraction and the slam I took … decided not to risk further injury even (though) that didn’t appear to be the top priority of the IOC.”