Shaun White won a third career gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics after a phenomenal performance in the men’s halfpipe snowboarding final.
White broke down in tears after his tricks stunned the judges who rewarded him with a near perfect score.
But his celebrations were short-lived as he was asked to respond to allegations of recent sexual misconduct in the post-event press conference.
An American snowboarder’s performance in the men’s halfpipe final at the 2018 Winter Olympics on Wednesday was so epic the judges gave him a near perfect score.
CNN said veteran athlete Shaun White needed to produce “the performance of his life” to snatch the gold medal away from Japan’s Ayumu Hirano.
White’s tricks — a double McTwist 1260 and back-to-back 1440s — saw the judges reward him with a huge 97.75 score, surpassing Hirano’s 95.25.
White, who kept his nerve before his run, broke down in tears after he realised he would add a third Winter Olympic gold medal to his trophy cabinet.
But the celebrations were short-lived.
In the post-even press conference, White was asked to respond to accusations of sexual misconduct made against him — and he dismissed the claims as “gossip.”
The allegations stem from a 2016 lawsuit from Lena Zawaideh, the only woman in White’s rock bad “Bad Things,” who accused the snowboarder of sexual harassment, according to The Daily Beast.
The website published the full legal complaint where it is claimed White “sent graphic images to Zawaideh of engorged penises.” He apparently forced her to “watch videos sexualising human fecal matter” and also “stuck his hands down his pants and tried to make her smell them.”
At one point, White reportedly said: “I’ll f—— slap you.”
White and Zawaideh settled in 2017, but the matter was brought up on Wednesday during the gold medal winner’s interview with the media at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
He said: “I’m here to talk about the Olympics.”
You can watch the interview here:
Shaun White on if he thinks the sexual harassment allegations against him will tarnish his legacy: “You know, honestly, here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip.” pic.twitter.com/45I1DjTB2u
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) February 14, 2018
At the same press conference, USA Today columnist Christine Brennan pointed out that White — or the moderator of the media event, at least — only fielded questions from male members of the press.
Brennan said: “Shaun White just called the awful allegations against him “gossip” in a press conference where no woman journalist was called upon though several, including me, had their hand up the entire time.”
Shaun White just called the awful allegations against him “gossip” in a press conference where no woman journalist was called upon even though several, including me, had their hand up the entire time. #MeToo
— Christine Brennan (@cbrennansports) February 14, 2018
White’s gold medal represents a historic 100th Olympic gold for the United States at the Winter Olympics.
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Source:: Business Insider