Shaun White addresses sexual harassment suit, flag flap and rebounding from slump

By David Wharton

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Shaun White’s victory press conference in Pyeongchang on Wednesday evening wasn’t all golden and good news.

Hours after winning the men’s halfpipe at these 2018 Winter Olympics, White talked about the emotions of rebounding from a slump and a bad crash to capture the third gold of his career. He talked about his third run of the day, when he landed back-to-back 1440s for the first time in his life.

“I just dug deep and made it happen,” he said.

But there were also questions about a sexual harassment suit filed by Lena Zawaideh, a former drummer in his band. The claim, which dates to 2016, has come back into the news this week.

“Honestly I’m here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip,” White said.

“I am who I am and I’m proud of who I am,” he continued. “And my friends, you know, love me and vouch for me and I think that stands on its own.”

When a reporter tried to follow up, U.S. Ski & Snowboard official Nick Alexakos interrupted, saying: “I think we’re here to talk about the gold medal … if you don’t have another question why don’t you go ahead and pass the mike.”

(During an appearance later Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show, White apologized for using the word “gossip” in reference to the lawsuit, saying he used “a poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject” and he’s “truly sorry.”)

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Source:: The Mercury News

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