'What a joke': Skier stripped of medal in Winter Olympics 'disgrace'

Fanny Smith, pictured here making contact with Daniela Maier at the Winter Olympics.
Fanny Smith was stripped of the bronze medal after making contact with Daniela Maier. Image: Getty

The Winter Olympics community was left raging on Thursday when Swiss skier Fanny Smith was stripped of a bronze medal in controversial fashion in the ski-cross.

Smith was yellow carded in the gold-medal race after making what judges deemed to be intentional contact with Germany's Daniela Maier as they raced towards the finish.

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The pair collided and Smith crossed the line in third ahead of Maier, with the Swiss skier believing she'd won bronze.

But after a lengthy review from officials, the Swiss was eventually classified as "ranked as last in their heat" - the equivalent of disqualification.

Smith reportedly asked officials after the decision was handed down: “Who is the f***ing judge? This is a joke!

“This wasn’t on purpose! My ski was on the edge. Does this judge know how to ski? They have no idea.”

Fanny Smith, pictured here after her disqualification in the women's ski-cross final at the Winter Olympics.
Fanny Smith reacts after her disqualification in the women's ski-cross final at the Winter Olympics. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Swiss head coach Ralph Pfaeffli said the 29-year-old Smith was too distraught to speak to reporters after the race, but said he believed the contact was "clearly incidental and not intentional".

"They say she kicks sideways to slow down Daniela Maier but no ski cross competitors would ever try to side-kick while riding on rollers or over jumps into another person," said Pfaeffli.

"That's a complete misunderstanding."

Pfaeffli said the Swiss team were considering appealing but believed "the result will never change".

Maier said she would need to watch a replay, but had nothing but sympathy for Smith.

"I'm really sorry for Fanny because it's always a weird feeling," she said.

"What really happened, I don't know. I just saw that Fanny had more speed than Marielle and she had to decide where to go - then I am losing my balance."

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Commentator Ian Findlasaid: “That is a huge shame for Smith. I’m not sure about it but that is ski cross racing.

"Neslund is the winner here. She takes the gold medal. Thompson will take silver and Maier a surprise bronze medal.

“Smith with that little move before the final jump caused a destabilisation to Maier. It’s relegated Smith.

"The result will stand but Neslund is the Olympic gold medallist at Beijing 2022.”

British athlete Emily Sarsfield wrote: "Totally shocked at that call in the Olympic Ski Cross final. Fanny Smith deserved that bronze medal.

"There was nothing intentional in that move just avoiding landing on Marielle!"

Fans and commentators were also blowing up on social media.

with agencies

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