Olympic Controversy: Did IOC Contribute To Julia Marino’s Injury?

Kamila Valieva’s drug test and China’s treatment of its Uighur minority are not the only controversies of the 2022 Olympics.

Sports Illustrated reports that the International Olympic Committee is under fire after an injury to US snowboard silver medalist — and Westport resident — Julia Marino.

According to SI, the IOC demanded that Marino cover a Prada sponsorship logo on her snowboard, or use a different board. The fashion company is not an official Olympic sponsor.

Front Office Sports notes: “Marino and Prada have earned raves from the global press for the ‘Linea Rossa’ line, merging high fashion with action sports.” A Wall Street Journal headline read: The Silver Wears Prada.” 

Marino covered the logo, but fell during practice for the big air event. The sponsorship distraction may have been a cause. She later dropped out of the competition.

When Marino won silver in slopestyle, she had acceded to the IOC’s demand to tape over the Prada logo on her helmet.

Julia Marino (center) waits for slopestyle results. The Prada logo on her helmet was covered up. (Screenshot photo/Jeanine Esposito)

A helmet is of course less important to a snowboarder than the board itself. The US Olympic & Paralympic Committee took up Marino’s cause, arguing to the IOC that her board was no different than one that says Burton or Roxy — 2 famous snowboard brands.

The USOPC said that covering the log was “not a feasible option. The logo is molded to the board and altering it would cause drag and interrupt the surface intended to glide,”

Marino posted on Instagram: “The base of a board is important for your speed and not meant to have anything on it but wax, having marker and other things on the bottom basically defeats the purpose.

“Anyway, I dropped into the jump to see how the tailbone felt after taking a slam the other day in practice and after my base (was) altered, I had no speed for the jump and wasn’t able to clear it several times. Was just feeling pretty physically and mentally drained from this distraction and the slam I took … decided not to risk further injury even (though) that didn’t appear to be the top priority of the IOC.”

(Click here for the full Front Office Sports story. Hat tip: Dave Briggs)

3 responses to “Olympic Controversy: Did IOC Contribute To Julia Marino’s Injury?

  1. The IOC is a rotten organization, dishonest, self serving with no integrity

  2. Virginia Jaffe

    My God what a horrendous situation for Julia Marino. What a distraction when you least need it. Such a shame. Congrats for what you have already achieved and so sorry for the distraction that has led to this outcome.

  3. Thanks. Dan. Julia will be home this evening. I can’t wait to see her! She has experienced unbelievable highs and devastating lows over the past few weeks. I’m not sure if she is fully aware of the extent to which “her story” has taken off. In her mind, she is still “just a kid who loves to snowboard.”


    — Elaine