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Things Get Tense at Shaun White Olympic Presser Over Harassment Allegations

As we reported last night, Shaun White nabbed his third career Olympic gold medal with a near-flawless performance in the last run of the men's halfpipe final, snatching the top spot out of the hands of 19-year-old Japanese wunderkind Ayumu Hirano in dramatic fashion. 

And while White's performance has dominated the Olympic headlines over the past 24 hours, his life off the slopes is also drawing the attention of some media members–which led to a fairly tense exchange during White's post-competition press conference.

Matt Gutman of ABC News brought up the sexual harassment lawsuit White faced in 2016 from  former bandmate Lena Zaweidah–a lawsuit which he settled in 2017 out of court–while the 31-year-old snowboarder was answering questions from the press. White dismissed the allegations as "gossip" (a phrase he later apologized for) and a representative of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard parried away follow-up questions on the topic by saying the three-time gold medalist would only be answering questions pertaining to his performance.

That sequence–particularly in the light of recent societal movements like the #MeToo movement–has now drawn the ire of media outlets who don't often dip their toes into the world of action sports.

In an article titled, "Why Isn’t NBC Talking About the Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Shaun White?" on Slate.com, author Josh Levin noted that between May 2017 and last week, there had been virtually no mention of White's harassment lawsuit by mainstream media. Levin also points out that NBC–who owns the broadcasting rights for the Olympics (and who were recently embroiled in their own major sexual harassment controversy)–has actively ignored questions pertaining to the lawsuit.

"When we talk and write and think about athletes, our awe at their ability often overwhelms all other considerations. Perhaps that’s why the sports world has thus far been slow to embrace, or to feel the repercussions of, the #MeToo movement," Levin wrote. "It’s possible White is a sexual harasser. It’s also possible he was wrongly accused. It’s almost a certainty NBC won’t invest the time and energy to find out."

And Slate wasn't alone in its critique. Deadspin and USA Today also published criticisms over how the media has handled–or ignored–the allegations White faced (USA Today also noted no female journalists were called upon during the aforementioned 13-minute press conference).

In the end, given the fact that the lawsuit was settled out-of-court, there's no real way for anyone to know what happened between White and Zaweidah. But, if nothing else, Chrstine Brennan of USA Today makes a salient point in how she concludes her review of the allegations.

"[The] allegations against White are awful. Why they have stayed in the background until now, we’ll never know," Brennan writes. "But they’re getting our attention now, and it's about time. If we’ve learned anything about the #MeToo movement, it’s that we should listen to every allegation and go to great lengths to find out what happened, even with an Olympic hero such as White."

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PSA: This Is Why To Stay The HELL Away From Cornices…
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PSA: This Is Why To Stay The HELL Away From Cornices…

PSA: This Is Why To Stay The HELL Away From Cornices…

About this time of year we should all start reminding ourselves how to travel in the backcountry safely. You may have already been out there or may be anticipating that first run out the gates or setting that first skin track of the season. Whatever the case, we have to temper that excitement a bit with the realization that we probably forgot a bunch of potentially life-saving factoids from the winter previous. As this POV video from Jakob Homolka demonstrates at 1:15, one of those little

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Introducing Our 2018 Grom Contest April Monthly Winner: Maddox Matte
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Introducing Our 2018 Grom Contest April Monthly Winner: Maddox Matte

Introducing Our 2018 Grom Contest April Monthly Winner: Maddox Matte

Teton Gravity Research's 2018 Grom Contest is underway, and after sifting through all the submissions, TGR is proud to announce that the first monthly winner Grom Contest is 10-year-old snowboarder Maddox Matte from Canada. The young ripper impressed the TGR family with his technical skills and abilities to make every rail hit unique. For being chosen as the first monthly winner, Maddox will receive a boatload gear from our partners Pret Helmets, Hydroflask, Line Skis, Dakine, and Jones

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We Aren’t Ready to Let Go: More Audi Nines Highlights To Kickstart Your Weekend
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We Aren’t Ready to Let Go: More Audi Nines Highlights To Kickstart Your Weekend

We Aren’t Ready to Let Go: More Audi Nines Highlights To Kickstart Your Weekend

It’s a wrap: winners in seven categories were crowned at the Audi Nines presented by Falken in Sölden, Austria. After a week of film and photo sessions, the Public Contest Day was seriously epic. The male and female skiers and snowboarders, as well as the Ski- and Snowboard Crossers showed thrilling performances on the new SlopeX course as well as Big Air and Quarterpipe. With the exciting set-up and perfect weather conditions drawing more than 3,000 spectators to Tiefenbach Glacier, the