Is Russia Ready for Olympian Seth Wescott?

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Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Two-time Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott discusses the physicality of snowboarding and Russia's political views with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)

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Thank you very much.

U.s. has brought home two gold medals in snowboard cross and he is gearing up for cioci following knee surgery is russia ready for him?

I asked seth wescott about his take on russia being the home of the olympic games and some off the slope political policies.

I'd been alpine skiing.

I saw snowboarding for the first time in 198 and it instantly, because of my love for skateboarding, just became something i was fascinated and fixated on and i basically stopped my ski racing career almost immediately and took to spending all my free hours chasing snow around.

So you're chasing know but -- snow but you ended up chasing gold.

Tell us about some of the awards that you've won.

I've been fortunate to have great success over the years.

I won gold in torino in 2006, came back to vancouver and became the first american man to defend a gold medal in a snow sport.



Nine x game podeyems over the years and have been very fortunate to have traveled and competed and to gotten to experience the world in a lot of ways through a sport like snowboarding.

But you've also experienced it through injury, right?

Tell us about the physicality of the sport.

The physicality is tough, or difficult.

Just give us a little bit of a list.

A.c.l. in both knees, broken tibial plateau in that one.

I have 13 screws and a plate in that one and two years ago i tore the pectoral off the humaners are bone, plus, sprains, concussions, all the typical -- and you're still snowboarding with passion.


Are you getting ready for the olympic games in sochi?

I am.

This recent surgery, i had surgery april 24 to repair the left knee so this whole summer has been time spent with the u.s. team at our headquarters and trying to rebuild myself physically and get ready.

But i'm really close now.

I've been back on know the -- snow the last two and a half weeks and had great progression and just trying to be ready to go over and compete in russia.

Do you recovery as quickly now as you did four or eight years ago from injury?


I didn't notice a huge lag this time and i just think part of it is -- i've had a lifetime of dedication to being physically active.

And when you get injured, you have to make sure your habits are good, eating well, resting well.

My physical therapy game a -- became a full-time job.

Five hours a week, five days a week.

And look at it as your work.

Let's go to sochi with the snow and then talk about the politics.

What about the snow?

Is it ready?

Not yet.

We were looking at some weather forecasts this morning.

You've been there before?

We were there last year.

I do have to commend them, the idea they came up with and how they were harvesting snow last year and transporting it to the higher elevations into cooling systems.

What we experienced last year, the conditions were really tough.

Pouring rain most of the days of training and competition.

The year before that they'd had great test runs.

The alpine events the year before they'd had a cold month of february.

The weather is going to do whatever the weather is going to do.

My fingers are crossed that we'll have a cold month and the venues can be great.

As an athlete, to wait for years for an opportunity to shine on a stage like that and have weather be a deterrent is problematic.

You just hope that everything will be up to par so that the athletic performances can be what they have the potential to be.

Have certain comments by vladimir putin, the president of russia, made it problematic for you to go and compete in sochi?

Particularly his comments discriminating against gay people?

I started addressing this earlier in the summer and for me, we in the snowboard community have a number of lesbians.

I have lesbian teammates that compete and i think the stance that i've gone to now is that, you know, what he's doing is speaking out -- in speaking out in that way is breaking the sixth rule of the olympic charter.

It would be my hope that in the future that the i.o.c. looks at where host nationes are going to be and makes sure that the -- you know, the ideals of those nations are in line with what the rules of the olympic charter are.

And no athlete should be discriminated against for any reason when they go to compete on an international stage like that.

That is number six?

Number six.

My hope is that -- they're going to be protests and people speak out on there.

-- this.

Yep, there will.

I spoke up earlier in the summer as the elder statesman of the u.s. snowboard team in the fact that i don't believe my

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