The Most Controversial Moments From the 2018 Winter Olympics

After over two weeks of competition, the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, have come to a close. Throughout the games, there were moments of heartbreak and triumph for so many Olympians representing countries around the world.

Just like in years past though, the 2018 Olympics weren’t without controversy. Some American athletes came under fire for comments they made while others had remarks made about them that caused quite a stir. Here’s look at the most controversial moments from this year’s Olympic Games.

Shaun White’s ‘gossip’ remark

Shaun White standing in his athletic gear.

Shaun White faced backlash for this comment. | Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

One of the most famous Olympians to compete in the games was Shaun White. The snowboarder, who put the sport on the map, made headlines after his gold medal win for the wrong reasons.

Following his epic final halfpipe run, past allegations of sexual harassment and a 2016 lawsuit filed by former drummer, Lena Zawaideh, lit up social media. Reporters asked White about those accusations in a press conference, but dismissed them as “gossip.”

The athlete later apologized for his “poor choice of words” and said he has grown up a lot and is a “changed person” now.

Next: This person lost their job for sexual comments about teen snowboarder. 

Radio host’s inappropriate comments about Chloe Kim

Chloe Kim smiling while standing on a street.

Chloe Kim was at the center of another controversy. | Chloekimsnow via Instagram

Speaking of snowboarding, comments made about the sport’s new star, Chloe Kim, disgusted people and got a radio host fired.

After Kim won gold in the women’s snowboard halfpipe competition, Barstool Sports’ Dialed-In with Dallas Braden co-host Patrick Connor called the teen “a little hot piece of ass.” He also made this statement: “Her 18th birthday is April 23, and the countdown is on, baby. That’s what I like about them high school girls.”

Connor’s inappropriate comments caused immediate backlash, and he was fired from his hosting gig at a San Francisco radio station KNBR. He then apologized, but was told he would also be let go from the Barstool Sports Sirius XM show if he ever said anything like that again.

Next: This figure skater did not want anything to do with this politician. 

Adam Rippon’s feud with Mike Pence

Adam Rippon competes in the Men's Short Program.

Adam Rippon feuded with the White House. | Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Shortly before the Olympics began, Adam Rippon criticized the White House’s choice to have Mike Pence lead the American delegation in the opening ceremonies. During an interview in late January with USA Today, the openly gay Olympian said that Pence “has been considered an opponent of the LGBT community after he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

This started a bit of back and forth with the vice president’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah, who claimed Rippon’s remarks had “no basis in fact.” Following the criticism from the athlete, Pence tweeted directly to Rippon to say that he was rooting for all the Americans competing. His staff then reportedly try to set up a meeting with the skater, which Rippon ultimately declined.

A few days later, Donald Trump Jr. slammed the bronze medalist for talking about Pence saying that the vice-president never mentioned Rippon once. Many people then pointed out that Trump’s eldest son must not have been aware that Pence did mention Rippon specifically when he tweeted at him.

Next: This skier received backlash for comments about the president. 

Lindsey Vonn’s anti-Trump stance

Lindsey Vonn of USA wins the bronze medal during the Alpine Skiing Women's Downhill at Jeongseon Alpine Centre on February 21, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

Lindsey Vonn  earned backlash for her political stance.| Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Skier Lindsey Vonn also made some political comments prior to the Olympics. In December, the gold medalist told CNN that she wanted to represent the U.S. but not the U.S. president during the games.

Vonn’s comments led to a lot of hate directed towards her on Twitter with some saying that they were hoping she “breaks her neck” during competition. The internet trolls kept up the social media negativity when she failed to medal in the super-G event.

The four-time Olympian later said that she didn’t expect “that much hate,” but she still stands by what she said and “sleeps well at night.” She likely slept even more soundly when a few days after the online abuse, she earned the bronze medal in the final women’s alpine downhill race of her career.

Next: This ice skater apologized for puzzling interview.

Mirai Nagasu’s bizarre interview

USA's Mirai Nagasu competes in the figure skating team event.

Mirai Nagasu shocked many with her bizarre statements. | Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

Figure skater Mirai Nagasu’s caught slack for a bizarre interview she gave following her free skate. The Olympian offered a barrage of strange excuses about why she wasn’t at her best and even claimed to “save” her other teammates so they could medal.

It’s been a long three weeks. We got here, we got to walk in the Opening Ceremonies, and I saved the team a bit. With Adam and the Shibutanis [in the team skate], we were about to lose our medals. Today I put my medal in my pocket – here she is – and I said, “Mirai, you’ve done your job already, and this is just icing.”

Nagasu went on to claim that every time she tried to shower at the Team USA house, the hot water was gone. She made it sound as if that was the reason she skated poorly and ended up in 10th place. Her fans were also taken aback when she called her Olympic skate just her “audition” for Dancing with the Stars. She later apologized and said her odd comments were the result of “mental exhaustion.”

Next: This freestyle skier took a shot at Ivanka Trump. 

Gus Kenworthy slams Ivanka Trump

Gus Kenworthy smiling while wearing a white hoodie.

Gus Kenworthy made headlines for his anti-Trump tweets. | Ker Robertson/Getty Images

Olympian Gus Kenworthy was also critical of the Trumps. The freestyle skier was not happy when Ivanka Trump showed up in Pyeongchang.

He took to Twitter to express his displeasure writing, “So proud of all these people! Everybody here has worked so hard to make it to the Olympics and have the opportunity to walk in the closing ceremony! Well… Everyone except Ivanka. Honestly, [what] is she doing here??”

This Olympian also threw shade at President Donald Trump after Russia defeated Germany in Men’s Ice Hockey tweeting, “Russia’s biggest win since the 2016 US Presidential election!”

Next: This bobsledder deleted selfies with Trump.

Lauren Gibbs tweets about unity before deleting pic

Lauren Gibbs wearing a blue sports jacket at a press panel.

Lauren Gibbs deleted a photo of her and Ivanka Trump. | Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Bobsledder Lauren Gibbs had a much different reaction than Kenworthy to the president’s daughter and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders being at the closing ceremonies.

Gibbs took selfies with Ivanka Trump and even let her wear her silver medal for a bit. She then shared a message about everyone getting along. “It’s important to remember that we don’t have to agree on everything to get along, be civil to each other and enjoy each others company. #itsforamerica it was a pleasure to meet you both!

Some of Gibbs’ fans, however, were not about the photo with the first daughter, and the Olympian ended up deleting the post.

Follow Michelle Kapusta on Twitter @philamichelle.

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