America’s halfpipe bronze medalist has left the Olympics. Snowboarding’s Scotty Lago is packing his bags and heading home after getting a little too friendly with a female fan.
The muckracking Web site TMZ.com took a break from stalking Hollywood celebutantes long enough for one of their photographers to get these photos of Scotty showing off his medal in his own special way.
Lago’s not facing any further punishment, but the IOC heads apparently weren’t impressed with his actions so he got Vancouver’s equivalent of an honorable discharge.
The media is going to love this. All week long the curmudgeonly critics across the cable stations have been complaining about everything the snowboarders do. First, Kazuhiro Kokubo drew some attention and was forced into an apology for taking the Japan travel outfits to the G level. Then, during the competition broadcasters were complaining about how baggy the guys’ pants were. One expert even had the bright idea that our competitors might be able to “perform an extra twist if their clothing wasn’t so baggy.” Some people also complained about the denim pants that made up the U.S. uniform, even though it was pretty fitting of America in a cultural context.
Despite snide remarks from nearly senile sportscasters, people were definitely awed by Shaun White’s runs. It’s pretty amazing how far ahead of the field that kid is. White and Lago hinted at hopes for an invite to meet Barack Obama at a post-competition press conference, but this little incident will probably put the kibosh on any White House welcome for Lago.
So will the media look down on snowboarding for this? Definitely. Are many snowboarders going to care what the media thinks? Absolutely not. Snowboarding was born out of rebellious acts, and the fact that Scotty is still doing what he wants proves that snowboarding has not “sold out,” like many will say about its Olympic presence. He was even wearing a Team USA shirt for the photo op! So props go out to Mr. Lago for keeping snowboarding edgy because these Olympics have seriously been lacking in drama now that the snowboarding events have wrapped up.