'Robbed': China blows up over Winter Olympics controversy

·4-min read
Pictured here, Chinese teen Su Yiming reacts after a run in the men's slopestyle at the Winter Games.
Chinese teen Su Yiming had to settle for silver despite many fans feeling like he should have won gold in the men's slopestyle event. Pic: AAP

Controversy has erupted at the Winter Olympic Games after China's teenage favourite Su Yiming was denied gold in the slopestyle final in Beijing.

Canada's Max Parrot won an emotional gold medal in the event, three years after being diagnosed with cancer.

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But the sentimental victory was somewhat overshadowed by a wave of anger from fans on social media, who thought Su Yiming was "robbed" of the gold medal.

The 17-year-old Chinese star left viewers stunned after becoming the only competitor to pull off an 1800-degree aerial in the snowboarding competition.

Despite the degree of difficulty of the trick and the teen's almost flawless run, it was not enough to overhaul Parrot's score of 90.96 on his second run, as Su was forced to settle for silver, with another Canadian Mark McMorris claiming bronze.

Thousands of Chinese fans flooded social media platform Weibo after the event to claim that Su had been "robbed" by the judges.

International news agencies such as Reuters reported that the Chinese teen was the No.1 trending topic on the social media site at the time.

The South China Morning Post reported on the fan backlash, with some viewers claiming the judges deliberately sabotaged Su's chances of winning gold.

“It’s such a smooth ride. Why didn’t Su get an 80 plus? I don’t understand,” one of the top comments on the site read.

Another user wrote: “I am speechless. It was just a perfect run”.

Even outside of China, many viewers shared similar sentiments that the local teen was "robbed" in the event.

To his credit, Su gave a classy interview after walking away with the silver medal.

“To be able to take part in the Winter Olympics in my home country, to be able to compete with my childhood idol and stand with them on the podium, this is a very precious moment in my life,” Su told Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

“To me, this is very special.”

Canada's Max Parrott wins emotional gold

Despite only finishing 10th in qualifying, Canadian gold medallist Parrot put together a high-scoring run to go one better than the silver he achieved at PyeongChang 2018.

The 27-year-old was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma – a type of blood cancer – in late 2018 and was forced to stop competing so he could undergo chemotherapy.

However, he announced he was cancer-free in July 2019 and worked to get back to his competitive best.

"This is so incredibly special, especially with the run I did today," he said after winning the gold.

Seen here, Canada's Max Parrot celebrates after winning gold in the men's snowboard slopestyle at the Winter Olympics.
Canada's Max Parrot celebrates after winning gold in the men's snowboard slopestyle at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Pic: Getty

"It's the biggest run I've done in my entire career.

"I am extremely proud of myself and to take gold on that run means so much for me.

"I don't take anything for granted anymore.

"It made me such a better snowboarder, as well. I try to appreciate every day now – the little things in the morning through to my passion of snowboard.

'I try to smile all day long now, and the results come with that now as well. It's amazing.

with agencies

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