Olympic snowboarding champion Torah Bright has condemned the attack on the Australian Olympic Committee from the father of her teammate Belle Brockhoff and distanced herself from “team outcast”.
Brockhoff’s father, Bruce, enraged team officials when he said that Belle had received very little financial support from the organisation and teammate Alex “Chumpy” Pullin had received too much.
It came on the eve of the men’s snowboard cross, in which Pullin is a favourite to win.
“Mr Brockhoff should be held accountable for his words,” Bright said. “And . . . I am speechless. I am appalled, actually.
“Belle has put on such a show. To have this have any shadow over her is beyond me.
“It’s about these guys competing. It’s not about parents meddling. It’s not about using someone else as the vehicle for their own purpose.”
That said, Bright has been at the vanguard of a social media campaign about funding, creating a splinter group identified as “#teamoutcast”.
Said Bright: “This is kind of something we should all move on from, because we’re all Australians united as an Australian team. We need to forget this craziness.
“I don’t want to answer any more questions about it. We’re here at the Olympics, and we know we’ve done incredible things.
“Teamoutcast, to me, is something I did to support the people who were an outcast. It was other snowboarders, outside of Australia. For some reason, it’s been turned into addressing someone else’s agenda, and I am not going to have any part of it because they are using me and the silly little hashstag as the vehicle for their own agenda.”
Her remarks came in the aftermath of wild comments from Brockhoff’s father, Bruce, who the day before blowtorched Pullin, the AOC and the Olympic Winter Institute of Sport on the eve of Pullin’s run at the gold in the men’s snowboard cross.
Bruce Brockhoff claimed, via email to Australian journalists, that Pullin had received $1 million in funding while his daughter had only been given $38,000 in their pursuit of Olympic gold in Sochi.
Pullin brushed off questions about the animosity in the team after his event was postponed for a day because of heavy fog hanging over the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
Just to add to the madness, Bruce Brockhoff has issued an apology for his email outburst.
It gave an insight into his bizarre way of thinking with a statement on his own website.
“It was never my intention to upset the men’s boardercross event nor any one of the contestants especially Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, Jarryd Hughes nor Cam Bolton on the Australian team,” he posted.
“The intention of my email to the press was to point out reasons why some of the Australian boardercross team felt the need to form a lose (sic) group supporting one another calling themselves #teamoutcast.
“The reason I issued the email Sunday was to gain maximum publicity hot on the heals (sic) of my daughter Belle’s race at her first Olympics. To delay this email I felt would lesson (sic) its impact.
“The full story of what has transpired is being written at the moment and will appear in the newspapers ASAP complete with copies of supporting emails and one recording of a meeting in May.”