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  • Sunday, February 8, 1998

    Fawcett's Olympic dream cut to shreds

    By STEVE SIMMONS -- Toronto Sun
      SHIGA KOGEN -- Mark Fawcett stood stunned at the bottom of the hill, his heart and his snowboard broken, his Olympic experience gone wrong.
     The Canadian favorite to win a medal in the new sport of snowboarding didn't last 40 seconds into his first run yesterday, crashing, falling and being eliminated from the giant slalom.
     "I had the fastest time going," he said almost without expression. "It happens sometimes."
     He didn't think it would happen to him.
     "I just chattered out," he said, using snowboarding lingo. The truth was, he lost a bolt in his board, either from too much pressure or some kind of malfunction.
     "It was all going real well. I only slid on one turn. But it chattered a lot."
     And then "it ejected me." Fawcett also thought his bindings somehow betrayed him, not keeping him on the snowboard when he thought he was still in control.
     Fawcett actually was on pace to be the first-round leader -- he was going that fast around the powered course at Mt. Yakebitai -- and his crash brought a gasp from those in attendance.
     "I'm really, really disappointed," said Fawcett, admitting he just lay in snow, talking to himself after the fall. "I've seen so many people have to go on Prozac after not doing well at the Olympics. I'm not going to be like that. I'll be back.
     "I'm just a little shocked right now. I don't know what to say.
     It's just a bummer it had to happen here for me."

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