Pyeongchang 2018

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iPod out

Swiss snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov will not be able to defend the halfpipe gold medal he won at Sochi.

The 29-year-old announced on Friday that he has not recovered from a head injury sustained at the Winter X-Games in Aspen last month.

An MRI scan revealed that ‘iPod’ had suffered a serious head trauma with a haemorrhage.

“When I heard this diagnosis, it was clear for me that I had suffered a serious injury and I would be taking a very big risk to compete at the Olympic Games,” explained Podlatchikov.

Numerous tests

Podladtchikov suffered the injury at the X-Games on January 28th, crashing on his final trick during his second run in the halfpipe.

After being stretchered off the course, the Swiss was initially diagnosed with a nasal fracture.

The snowboarder then took advice from a number of medical experts and undertook numerous tests before reaching his decision.

“After all the tests that I had in the last two weeks – including my first training (in PyeongChang) on Friday – I am able to say with certainty that participation in the Olympics would not be prudent and responsible,” he added.

Podladtchikov disclosed that a second MRI scan showed that, although his condition had improved, it was not yet “stable enough to evolve to the necessary level for this kind of competition.”

Casualty list

Podladtchikov had endured a tough run with injuries in the build-up to PyeongChang, but was approaching something like his best form of late.

The Russian-born rider won the FIS World Cup halfpipe event held in Laax, in his native Switzerland on January 20th.

He is the second big-name casualty at PyeongChang in as many days.

British snowboarder Katie Ormerod – well fancied for the big air contest – was ruled out after fracturing her heel in a training run.

Canada’s slopestyle world champion Laurie Blouin is a serious doubt after a heavy fall in Friday qualifying.

Blouin was stretchered off the course but she has returned to the Athletes’ Village after being taken to hospital as a precaution.

Podladtchikov will now return home to Switzerland on Saturday.


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