U.S. speedskater blasts organization after last race over long track futility in Sochi Games
While Lamb called out Finn Halvorsen, long track’s high-performance managing director specifically, Shimabukuro said he takes responsibility if the athletes aren’t prepared.
“I will take personal accountability for my athletes' performance before I blame anything else,” he said.
The organization's new executive director, Ted Morris, who just took the job in September, also claimed responsibility for the problems. However, their willingness to shoulder the blame doesn’t provide any answers about what specifically went wrong and how the situation can be fixed.
Shimabukuro, who’s patiently dealt with rounds and rounds of media questions and Morris, who talked to The Associated Press, said that is something that will happen after the Olympics.
And as for Lamb’s expression of sadness for her teammates, on that, she and Shimabukuro agree.
“It’s brutal,” he said. “My heart bleeds for the skaters because I know how much they put in and I know how much momentum we’ve had coming into these games. The support we’ve had not only from the Olympic committee and our sponsors and our families, obviously, to be in the situation we’re in right now, it’s devastating.”
But at the end of the day, and even with all of the theories and rumors and finger-pointing, the athletes still have to go out on the ice and compete.
“But skaters all still go to the line, chin up, ready to give their best effort every time,” he said. “I think they’re champions for doing that.”
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