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Jacqui Cooper steps back from criticism of Torah Bright's behaviour in Sochi

Aerial skier Jacqui Cooper has backed away from a stoush with Sochi silver medallist Torah Bright over the snowboarder's behaviour at the Winter Olympics.

Cooper, a five-time winter Olympian, had blasted Bright for criticising how Sochi team members had been funded and for outspoken complaints about the condition of the halfpipe.

The former world champion aerial skier also attacked Bright's performance despite the 27-year-old becoming the first snowboarder to enter three events at a single Winter Olympics and winning silver in the halfpipe.

"I think she performed badly with social media. And I also think she performed badly as an athlete to complain about the course and the snow," Cooper had said.

"I didn't hear any other athlete making as much noise about anything as Torah did."

On Tuesday morning, Cooper issued a statement saying that on reflection she had been wrong about Bright.

"Being selected to compete in 3 Olympic disciplines is an amazing achievement," she said.

"Winning a silver medal in the halfpipe was an excellent result that everyone in Australia is proud of.

"I do apologise for those comments."

But Cooper reiterated her disappointment at Bright's involvement in a social media campaign that was critical of the way Winter Olympians were funded.

Bright and fellow snowboarders Scotty James, Belle Brockhoff and Jarryn Hughes used the Twitter hashtag #teamoutcast in the lead up to the Games, which was linked to discontent at the Olympic Winter Institute and Australian Olympic Committee's funding decisions.

"I do stand by my comments about the noise created with #teamoutcast and funding. It was an unnecessary distraction to the team," Cooper said on Tuesday.

"Torah is a role model for those on the team and all that follow her. She has to be mindful of the impact she has.

"Creating a hashtag about funding in the lead up to the games caused a division within the team, even before the Games begun."

Cooper said funding was fairly based on an athlete's results. She said she would not be commenting further on Bright but did "recognise her greatness as an athlete and her Olympic achievements".

Bright later distanced herself from #teamoutcast after Brockhoff's father said Australian snowboarder Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin had received too much funding compared to his daughter.

with AAP

2 comments so far

  • Drama queens having a fight over the taxpayers' money. Very edifying, and only the taxpayers are not asked about it.

    Date and time
    February 25, 2014, 3:52PM
    • Tora Bright is a pain in the neck. I will not support any brand name that supports Tora Bright.

      Thank goodness the olympics are over because now we don't have to put up with the never ending snowboarders' crap - all of them.

      Get lost Tora Bright because I am one tax payer who is sick and tired of your whingeing. Just go away or stay in Cooma off the camera, or better still, go and get a real job!

      Date and time
      February 25, 2014, 6:43PM

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