Canadian snowboarder Michael Lambert wants you to know he's been doing more at the Sochi Olympics than just practicing. He's also noticed that the Games have some pretty big problems.
Lambert is by no means the first athlete to criticize this year's Olympics for its $51-billion cost, construction problems and its host country's anti-gay propaganda law. Openly gay Australian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff told Yahoo Sports she plans to "rip on [Putin's] ass" after she competes.
However, he's the first to express anger about the "bubble" he feels he and other athletes are in while in Sochi.
"I'm a person just as anyone else reading a newspaper," he said Sunday. "Just because I am a part of it (the Games) doesn't mean I ignore it.
Lambert's comments were made to the Olympic News Service after a media panel in which he expressed surprise that no one had any "controversial questions", Postmedia News reports.
He criticized Russia's handling of the event, saying it was far from the "perfect Games" and that the country had spent "ungodly amounts of money" on Olympic infrastructure "and then we are all going to watch it rot over the next 10 years.”
Other athletes have shown support for LGBT rights and freedom of speech with their choice of gear, but Lambert was very frank about the Kremlin's crackdown on protesters and those expressing gay sentiments by saying it "has people suffer and shuts people up."
He also mused on his Instagram feed about the conditions in the Olympic village when he arrived.
We've arrived.. Question is. Do I smile and nod or talk about the truth. No recycling of any kind in the village. Construction quality so poor that windows are cracking, river systems being destroyed, fleets of trucks idling for no reason, a plume of exhaust streaming from the Olympic flame. The furthest thing away from sustainability one could ever imagine. 80% of what is built here will never be used again. Best question of the day. "People say this is the "perfect games" what do you think about that"..... #roadtohapiness
Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Canada House this weekend. The Canadian Olympic Committee chair paid tribute to the leader in a speech and athletes rushed to get a selfie with him.
We're guessing that Lambert wasn't one of the eager ones.
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