The Slatest

Canadian Snowboarder Breaks Silence, Criticizes Russia for Making People “Suffer,’ “Shut Up”

Canada’s Michael Lambert clears a gate on his way to win the Men’s parallel slalom final at the FIS Snowboard World Cup January 17, 2010 in Nendaz.


Russia has enjoyed a serious lack of criticism from Olympic athletes during the Sochi Games. There are a few notable exceptions, such as Russian snowboarder Alexey Sobolev’s Pussy Riot snowboard and Austrian ski jumper Daniela Iraschko-Stolz’s statements against Russian anti-gay propaganda laws. But for the most part, the silence from the winter athletes has been pretty deafening—until now. Enter 27-year-old Canadian snowboarder Michael Lambert. Via

“I am all for the purest form of sport in which all other distractions are shed with no consideration given to anything but your own process,” Lambert said. “At the same time, to act like there aren’t a lot of other very controversial things at play here, it’s ignorant. It’s not real, it’s not a reality. It’s not my reality. …


“The only people on earth who are probably going to hold perfect (winter) Games are people from Scandinavia,” he said. “They are going to be green, sustainable, be under budget and all of the buildings and services are going to be used afterwards.

“A perfect games isn’t someone who blows the budget through the roof for no reason, has people suffer, shuts people up. How is that a perfect games? Spends ungodly amounts of money and then we are all going to watch it rot over the next 10 years.”

Lambert will be competing in the men’s parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom events this week.

Read the rest of Slate’s coverage of the Sochi Olympics.