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Olympics / Sports

Halfpipe draws chorus of complaints

ADLER, Russia -- Greg Bretz didn't want to talk about the Olympic Games halfpipe run at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

"I don't think that is a good question for anyone," the Anaheim, Calif.-born Bretz said.

Bretz is one of a number snowboarders complaining not just about the halfpipe at Rosa Khutor, the site of men's event Tuesday, but also the group that Sochi organizers chose to build the facility.

"It's not very good," said Danny Davis of the U.S., like Bretz a threat to Shaun White's bid for a third consecutive Olympic halfpipe gold medal.

"It needs a lot of work because they hired the wrong folks to do it," continued Davis, who won the halfpipe at last month's X Games in Aspen. "It's a shame because it's bumpy. When the pipe is good, snowboarding is really fun. But when the pipe is bad, it's not fun."

Great Britain's Ben Kilner joined the Americans in complaining about the course, maintaining its pitch is too steep.

The criticism of the half-pipe course comes in the wake of complaints of the Olympic slopestyle also at Rosa Khutor.

Davis and Bretz both said Sochi organizers made a critical mistake by not hiring Frank Wells, designer of the X Games course, to build the Olympic halfpipe. Bretz was asked what organizers could do to fix the situation.

Bretz responded, "It's going to take Frank Wells getting on a (expletive) airplane."

(c)2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)

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