Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot posted the highest slopestyle score Thursday.Max Parrot and Sebastian Toutant may have deleted the critical tweets they posted Wednesday about American snowboarder Shaun White's sudden withdrawal from the slopestyle competition, but they don't seem to be backing down, on or off the course. On the course, the pair of Canadian snowboarders had great days Thursday, with Parrot posting the highest score in qualifying (a 97.5) and Toutant notching a 87.25 (third in his heat, seventh overall). That means both are amongst the eight riders to automatically advance to Saturday's final. Afterwards, when asked about their criticism of White's late decision, they largely stood by it. From Gregory Strong of The Canadian Press:
"I'm happy that I said what I think to the world," Parrot said. ...
"Mr. White... It's easy to find excuses to pull out of a contest when you think you can't win...," Toutant said in a tweet.
Parrot tweeted: "Shaun knows he won't be able to win the slopes, that's why he pulled out. He's scared!"
The trash talk was one of the main talking points when the Canadian duo met the media after qualifying for Saturday's final.
"To take an American's spot, to just not do (compete) — I think it's bad for Americans," Toutant said. "I think one other guy could have been here competing right now. I mean, whatever. He's an amazing rider you know, he won two golds in the halfpipe. I just hoped that he'd be here competing with us."
...The tweets from Toutant, from L'Assomption, Que., and Parrot, from Bromont, Que., were later deleted. Parrot posted an apology, saying he was sorry if he offended anyone.
"I didn't think my tweet would go that far," he said. "It was like no arrogance at all. I just wanted to say that I'm disappointed that Shaun White is not competing in slopestyle because I wanted to compete against him. I do understand that he's going for three golds in a row and I would have maybe done the same thing if I (were) him.
"I'm just saying that I'm mad to not compete with him. I would just love to know who's better, you know."
The criticism of White's decision isn't limited to Canucks, of course. It's notable that some of his American teammates (none of who automatically qualified for the final, meaning they'll have to compete for the four remaining berths in one last heat of 21 riders Saturday) were also upset by the timing. If White had decided before going to Sochi that he wouldn't compete in slopestyle and would instead focus solely on halfpipe, that would have opened up a spot for another American slopestyle rider. His late decision didn't sit well with Americans Chas Guldemond or Sage Kotsenburg, as USA Today's Rachel Axon writes:Read More »from Canadian snowboarders stick to their guns on Shaun White after making men’s slopestyle final