What Other Pros Are Saying About Terje Boycotting Nagano (January 9, 1998)

When Terje Haakonsen announced that he will not be attending the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan we thought it would be interesting to see what other snowboarders had to say about it. So far, it looks like Mr. Haakonsen has the support of nearly everyone we’ve spoken to. Here are a few of their responses:

JIMI SCOTT
I am speechless. I think it’s a shame that Terje won’t be at the Olympics because he brings out the best in every other rider and he will definitely be missed. I hope it’s just a hoax.

JASON FORD
that someone has had the balls to stand up FIS and the IOC. I have been hoping that Jake Burton would refuse to allow any of his riders participate in the event. FIS has had no interest in the govening bodies or the influential people that have made the sport what it is today. They have become interested in the sport for nothing less than money. I support Terje 100%. He continues to be the champ. Hats off to you buddy.

NOAH BRANDON
Yeah snowboarders unite! Let’s all ban the Olympics. I think it’s awesome and I wish that everyone would do it. If the reason that he is boycotting is what has been reported, and he really isn’t willing to enter any FIS contests, that is great. I think that it would be nice if snowboarding could go to the Olympics under a snowboarding organization like the ISF, if that was even possible, but it’s not for now. I guess I am not surprised about all of this. I was actually wondering if Jake Burton would make all of the Burton team stay out of the Olympics.

JOE CURTES
I just found out yesterday and I thinks it’s rad. How many times does he have to prove he is the best snowboarder in the world? He has his own reasons for not doing it, but everyone knows he is still the best. If he doesn’t think it’s right to do the Olympics, that’s his belief and you have to respect that… Jake (Burton) does. I think he is one of the only snowboarders in the position to do that. He is the best and no one can take that away.


ROB KINGWILL
I think out of all the snowboarders in the world, he is in the position to do what he did and stand up against the IOC. Nobody’s going to look down on him for doing it and I am glad he voiced his opinion. I wish I could compete against him in the Olympics, but it’s good that he is standing up for what he thinks is right. The rest of us small fries can’t do that. I can try and help things on the inside and he can do it from the outside. I sure would like to see him do the Olympics, but it’s too late now. There are no more FIS contests. There are probably a lot of other reason he isn’t going, but whatever, those don’t matter now.

DEREK HEIDT
I think that he has got the power to make a choice like that. He is the world’s best snowboarder and even though everyone else in the world won’t know who Terje is, everyone in the sport knows who is the best in the word. It’s good that he is not selling out. Pretty much anyone who is going in layman’s terms is selling out, but we won’t know what the impact of the sport is until it’s done. It might be good, it might be bad, but it’s good to know the world’s best didn’t go for it.

ANDY HETZEL
I think it’s good. I think that Terje is the best in the world and when he says something people will listen and he is saying. I don’t think that snowboarding should even be in the Olympics. Maybe racing because it’s more structured, but halfpipe shouldn’t be there. For right now I am glad that he did it, more power to him, and good job Terje.

CIRCE WALLACE
I think it shows a lot of integrity and balls on his part. I was reading that article in TWS about what snowboarders were saying about the Olympics and everyone was saying it was bad for the sport, but they were going. I think that is pretty selfish. I am totally glad that someone stood up and spoke their mind and isn’t afraid of not winning. I don’t think we belong there, but when I say something like that it doesn’t have an impact because people will just think that I am saying that because I don’t have a chance at winning. I don’t have the same caliber as someone like Terje, so for him to do this it really says something.

ATHENA
What I’ve thought is that snowboarding isn’t ready for the Olympics. When I watch gymnastics it’s almost tear jerking, but snowboarding hasn’t really seemed to offer those kind of Olympic quality performances. However, in the last year since people have gotten serious about it all it actually seems like a lot of snowboarders have grown and succeeded more. Part of me thinks that if he just won a 100 grand like he did in that contest in Europe last week, he can think whatever he wants. I think that if the Olympics can’t get someone like Terje to join in what they are doing, if they can’t truly get the best in the world, then it’s not really ready for snowboarding.

TODD FRANZEN
I think the Olympics just lost all of its credibility. We are supposed to have all of the best riders there aren’t we? It’s not at its highest standards now. I think it’ll be nice when this is all over.