Canadian Games chief Podborski unhappy with trash talk
Canada's Sebastien Toutant competes in the Men's Snowboard Slopestyle qualification at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 6, 2014 - by Javier Soriano
White -- one of the biggest names at the Games -- told reporters on Tuesday that the slopestyle course was "intimidating", particularly as he had to go down it after Norwegian Torstein Horgmo fell and broke his collarbone.
White himself hurt his wrist, ankle and suffered a bruise under his eye in a fall on Tuesday.
After he pulled out of the event, Canadian slopestyle medal contenders Sebastien Toutant and Maxence Parrot took to Twitter to goad their American rival.
"Mr. White... It's easy to find excuses to pull out of a contest when you think you can't win," Toutant tweeted.
Parrot tweeted: "Shaun knows he won't be able to win the slopes, thats why he pulled out. He's scared!"
Podborski, who was a member of the 'Crazy Canucks' that rose to the top of the World Cup ski circuit in the 1970s, said they weren't happy with the Twitter trash talk.
"We don't endorse it," he said. "But they are big boys and they will be fine at the end of the day. We don't need to trash talk."
Both Toutant and Parrot back-tracked somewhat on their words Thursday, claiming they were merely disappointed not to be able to compete against White.
"I posted what I had to say. I actually deleted the tweet because some people took it the wrong way," said Toutant.
"I'm not even hating on Shaun at all, I'm just saying it's a bummer because he's the rider that everybody talks about him to be the best and everybody wants to have the chance to compete versus him and prove that you can do better.
"He's an amazing rider in the pipe and he's proved it so many times, but now he's kind of like the underdog in the slope and I'm kind of sad he decided to pull off, and that's all I wanted to say."
Parrot concurred, saying he was denied the chance to prove to the world he's better than White in slopestyle.
"I know (I'm better) but the whole world doesn't know that and that's why I wanted to prove that here," he complained.
Podborksi said athletes should expect a tough challenge at the Olympic Games even though the Extreme Park course has been widely condemned as dangerous and has required a quick nip and tuck.
"When you come to the Olympics you should expect an Olympian challenge," said Podborski, who is the Canadian Olympic Committee's (COC) chef de mission in Sochi.
"Something a little bit more than you would expect in your garden-variety competition. We got that here."
The COC knows first hand what it is like to have people question the safety of one of their venues.
Four years ago at the Vancouver Games, Canada was blasted for failing to heed pre-Olympic warnings about the luge track on which Georgian slider Nodar Kumaritashvili died.
On Wednesday the International Olympic Committee held a moment of silence to remember Kumaritashvili who died during a training exercise during the 2010 Vancouver Games.