US Snowboarding Coach Peter Foley Under Investigation After Ex-Olympian Alleges Sexual Misconduct
As Team USA's Lindsey Jacobellis and Nick Baumgartner celebrated their mixed snowboardcross victory on Saturday, the gold medals shared the spotlight with an ongoing scandal in the US snowboard team, including accusations of sexual misconduct that have led to a head coach being restricted from the Olympic village.
US Ski & Snowboard confirmed on Friday that it is investigating allegations of sexual misconduct against Team USA snowboard coach Peter Foley by former US Olympic snowboarder Callan Chythlook-Sifsof.
Since February 6, Chythlook-Sifsof, a member of the 2010 US Olympic snowboard team, accused Foley of sexual harassment and claimed that he had taken "naked photos of female athletes for over a decade."
"I cannot watch another Olympic Games without saying this," Chythlook-Sifsof detailed in one post, which tagged Foley and the US snowboard team.
The former Olympian alleged that Foley made inappropriate sexual comments to her and another female teammate about a "very young Argentinian girl" who was present at a race in Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada, in 2014.
Foley has served as the US snowboard head coach since it was founded in 1994.
© Instagram/callanthegreat"3rd time a post has been removed by @instagram for 'Bullying' and 'nudity and sexual behavior,'" wrote Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, 32, a member of the 2010 US Olympic snowboard team.
"3rd time a post has been removed by @instagram for 'Bullying' and 'nudity and sexual behavior,'" wrote Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, 32, a member of the 2010 US Olympic snowboard team.
"US Ski and Snowboard has been made aware of the recent allegations," the statement said. "We take these allegations very seriously and the allegations are being investigated."
Foley has denied wrongdoing.
"I was totally surprised by the allegations,” the Team USA coach told The New York Times on Saturday. “I vehemently deny the allegations. I’ve been doing my best to concentrate on supporting the athletes at the Olympics."
The governing body for US Olympic skiing and snowboarding is also probing US snowboardcross Olympian Hagen Kearney regarding allegations of harassment, inappropriate behavior and repeated use of a racial epithet.
© Instagram/hagenkearneyHagen Kearney, of Team USA's 2022 Snowboardcross Team | 2022 Winter Olympics | Beijing, China
Hagen Kearney, of Team USA's 2022 Snowboardcross Team | 2022 Winter Olympics | Beijing, China
Kearney, who placed 17th in a snowboardcross event on Thursday, took to social media on Saturday to acknowledge that he used the n-word in an argument involving him and Chythlook-Sifsof.
"At no point during this instance did I fake punch at her, follow her, shout the N word repeatedly, and I have certainly never made rape jokes while being on the team," the Olympian said, noting that he had "profusely" apologized.
Kearney claimed that coaches were "promptly informed" of his behavior, which put his spot on the team in jeopardy.
© AP Photo / Gregory BullJapan's Yoshiki Takahara (23), United States' Hagen Kearney (7) and United States' Nick Baumgartner (10) run the course during the men's cross finals at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China.
Japan's Yoshiki Takahara (23), United States' Hagen Kearney (7) and United States' Nick Baumgartner (10) run the course during the men's cross finals at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China.
© AP Photo / Gregory Bull
US Olympians Lindsey Jacobellis and Nick Baumgartner spoke highly of Foley during their press spot after securing a gold medal in mixed snowboardcross.
"I can speak very highly of his character and he's always been supporting me through everything that I've gone through," Jacobellis told reporters.
Baumgartner told reporters that it was a "bummer" that Foley was restricted from the Olympic village, as that also meant that he had to miss out on video review.
Following their gold medal win in the snowboardcross mixed team event, Lindsey Jacobellis and Nick Baumgartner share their experiences with coach Peter Foley.— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 12, 2022
Foley is under investigation for allegations of inappropriate behavior. pic.twitter.com/EYSFsG6s98
"He knows what to do to make us better on that day," Baumgartner said of Foley.