***originally published on February 5th, 2015
Terje Haakonsen is one of the best snowboarders of all time. The guy kinda invented half pipe snowboarding. Terje boycotted the 1998 Olympics in Japan where snowboarding made its Olympic debut. He still hates the Olympics and goes off when speaking to Mike Barr of Whitelines.com.
by Terje Haakenson/Whitelines.com
I can’t believe people are still asking me why I boycotted the Olympics in ’98. Seriously? I’ve answered that question a thousand times.
I decided my opinion about the Olympics before snowboarding was sanctioned. I was asked by MTV Sports to go to the Lillehammer Games in ’94, but I already saw then what bullshit the Olympics were. I don’t regret anything.
The only person that didn’t really understand at the time was my Dad. Of course, he’s from the older generation and had been brought up to see the Olympics as the pinnacle. But for me it’s too much to swallow for one event. Even now, today, all the stuff the IOC demands – from nations, sponsors, athletes – it’s insane.
Most of the stuff is out there and is easy to find out about. Yet people still support it. Why? Because they think it’s what they need to do for money and fast fame. Even if that’s only going to happen to maybe one or two guys every fourth year. And let’s not forget: they stole snowboarding from us.
They gave FIS, a ski federation, control of snowboarding, totally for commercial reasons. We all know that. And today they act as if they invented snowboarding, invented slopestyle. There’s just no respect for the history and culture of snowboarding at all. We don’t need FIS or the IOC. We can handle snowboarding ourselves.
They also destroyed the International Snowboard Federation, which at that point had been doing fine. And we’re still feeling the repercussions of that today. Every four years we mess up our own tour just so people can go to this one event where basically they own you.
I mean, you can’t even pack your own bag, some nations say you can’t even use your own social media ‘cos they want to control all the media. The sponsorship is controlled, and people have to suddenly promote Coca Cola and McDonalds. It’s really hard to understand why you would go along with this.
“There’s just no respect for the history and culture of snowboarding at all. We don’t need FIS or the IOC. We can handle snowboarding ourselves.”
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