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Shaun White suffered a nasty black eye in training before Olympics

Shaun White black eye

Shaun White has made snowboarding look pretty easy over the past several years, but we’re starting to see that it’s not all that simple.

White finished fourth in the halfpipe during the Winter Games in Sochi, and the US failed to medal in the event for the first time since it was introduced to the Olympics in 1998. White’s struggles came when he was unable to execute the Yolo flip, a trick created by Swiss snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov, who is known as I-Pod. I-Pod won the gold in the event by executing his trick to the pleasure of the judges.

White said that being able to execute the Yolo flip in training was his downfall, because that convinced him he could do the difficult trick in competition.

White’s fourth-place finish in the event reminds me of a photo White posted on his Twitter account on Jan. 27, two weeks before the competition. The photo shows him with a massive black eye he suffered in training.

Now I’m starting to wonder if he got that trying the Yolo trick in practice.

White has also opened himself up to a lot of second-guessing. He pulled out of the Winter X Games before the Olympics, and he also pulled out of the slopestyle event in Sochi so he could focus on his best event. And now he didn’t even medal.

Irina Rodnina now claims racist photo of Obamas was a hack job

Irina-RodninaFormer Russian figure skater Irina Rodnina is an Olympic hero in her home country. Rodnina was one of the two people who were given the honor of lighting the Olympic torch in Sochi last Friday. In addition to being internationally known for her decorated figure skating career, Rodnina also made headlines back in September for tweeting a racist photo of the Obamas.

Rodnina was criticized at the time, but she defended herself by saying she was simply exhibiting her right to “freedom of speech.” For whatever reason, she decided to apologize on Monday and claim she was hacked.

Hacking is a horrible excuse to begin with, let alone using it five months later after basically refusing to apologize the first time around. If Rodnina was hacked, she undoubtedly would have said that from the start. Since Twitter hacking is pretty damn close to a mythical concept anyway, we know that’s not what happened. At least she finally apologized.

H/T Deadspin

Matt Lauer temporarily replacing Bob Costas for Olympic coverage

Bob Costas pink eye glasses

Bob Costas has temporarily accepted defeat. If you have watched any of NBC’s Olympic coverage since the start of the Sochi Games, you know that Costas has been battling a nasty case of pink eye. He made fun of himself for the infection earlier in the week, but it has gotten worse in recent days and spread to both eyes. As a result, Costas is being replaced by Matt Lauer on Tuesday.

“As a practical matter, I simply couldn’t do my job because my eyes had become so blurry, watery and sensitive to light,” Costas said in a press release on NBC’s Olympic website. “I’m hopeful the symptoms will improve in the next couple of days and I can return to the broadcast. Also, the last thing I want is to go through the rest of my life owing Matt Lauer a bunch of favors.”

Costas has had a great sense of humor throughout the entire ordeal. He said he would continue doing the broadcast if it was simply a matter of being uncomfortable, but the infection has gotten so bad that he can barely see. He called into “The Today Show” to speak with Lauer on Tuesday morning.

“Well, even worse than when you saw me this morning, Sochi time,” Costas said when asked how he was feeling, via USA Today. “So, reluctantly, I was trying to throw a complete game here, but I think we’re going to have to go to the bullpen. I don’t know if you’re aware of this or not, but you’re Mariano Rivera, at least tonight.”

Costas drank vodka on television with Mary Carillo on Monday night and said his eyes can’t get any redder, but he may have been wrong. While we have poked fun at him and made poop particle jokes like everyone else, we wish Costas a speedy recovery. You hate to see anyone on the shelf with an injury.

Bode Miller: Bad vision led to disappointing finish

Bode-MillerBode Miller is the most decorated men’s alpine skier in United States history. He also may hold the record for most excuses after the worst finish of his Olympic career.

Miller finished eighth in the men’s downhill in Sochi over the weekend. After dominating two out of three training runs, he was considered by many to be the gold medal favorite. So what went wrong for the 36-year-old? He already said the course conditions changed drastically from training to the actual race. Miller also blamed bad vision.

“I don’t win when the sun’s not out,” he said, according to NBC Olympics. “I haven’t won in five years when the sun’s not out.”

The problem, Miller says, is that he should have gotten eye surgery.

“I was supposed to get an eye surgery earlier this year,” he added. “I have a great sponsor, an eye doctor, and we just never found the time to do it because the race schedule is so tight. We were pretty pissed off looking back that we hadn’t figured out time to do that.”

[WATCH: Bode Miller's wife reacts to his terrible race]

Vision is obviously critical to a skier who is traveling down a mountain at speeds of around 80 mph — but five years? If Miller hasn’t won without the sun in five years because of poor eyesight, you would think he would have addressed the problem well before the final Olympic Games of his career.

“My vision is critical,” he said. “When the light’s perfect, I can ski with any of the best guys in the world. When it goes out, my particular style suffers more than the guys who are more stable and don’t do as much in the middle of the turn.”

Again, this should have been addressed sooner. And since it wasn’t, it doesn’t sound like a very valid excuse for going from fastest to eighth-fastest between training and the actual event.

Bob Costas and Mary Carillo drink vodka (Video)

Bob Costas vodkaBob Costas convinced Mary Carillo to drink a glass of vodka with him for a great reason.

During Monday night’s “Olympic Late Night” coverage, Costas and Carillo were holding glasses of vodka, though Costas admitted “I’m not really much of a vodka guy.”

Carillo seemed stunned that the two were going to consume alcohol while on TV, but Costas put her at ease with a great line.

“My eyes can’t get any redder no matter what I do,” he said.

Carillo said she would drink to that, and they both did.

When in Russia …

Also see: Bob Costas’ pink eye has spread to both eyes!

Video via @cjzero

Lindsey Vonn rips skinny models, says they are fat

Lindsey VonnLindsey Vonn may be an Olympic skier, gold medalist, rich, famous and dating Tiger Woods, but we actually do have something in common: we’re not too crazy about super skinny models.

In a recent interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Vonn ripped into skinny models. Vonn called the models unhealthy and actually said they’re fat, which seems like a contradiction. But she explained her stance.

“I’ve been to a lot of photo shoots and I see these girls that are just really thin. They’re not healthy. They don’t work out. Health — that’s one of the reasons I am out tonight. Just in general staying active and being healthy is important,” Vonn said.

“It may look good in a magazine but it’s not actually healthy. And girls who are that skinny are actually fat. You can see the cellulite on their legs and on their butts,” she said. “You know I have cellulite too but I go to the gym and I try to eat healthy. I think that’s a better model for girls to look up to than skinny people who need to eat more.”

We agree, Lindsey. Strong isn’t the new skinny, but skinny certainly isn’t my taste.

Vonn may not be able to ski in the Winter Games in Sochi because of her knee injury, but she is still managing to make some headlines with her comments.

H/T NY Daily News

Alex Ovechkin has Russian flag on his Olympic skates

Alex-Ovechkin-Olympic-skates

Russia is one of the favorites to bring home a medal in hockey in front of its home fans at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. If Alex Ovechkin, who is having a fantastic year with the Washington Capitals, can be the prolific scorer he is capable of being, Russia could very well win the gold.

And if they don’t, Ovechkin will still be wearing the pride of Russia on his feet. Most hockey skates are black, but Ovechkin’s Olympic skates are painted with the colors of the Russian flag.

Many have predicted that Ovechkin will be the tournament MVP in his home country. He has already won the award for most patriotic skates.

Photo via Twitter/Alex Ovechkin