PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Shaun White dismissed the sexual assault allegations made against him in a 2016 lawsuit as “gossip” and hurried away from reporters trying to ask him more about the allegations Wednesday, just hours after winning his third gold medal in the men’s halfpipe.

White later apologized after referring to a sexual misconduct lawsuit as “gossip” during a news conference.

White issued the apology on NBC’s” Today” show on Wednesday. He says he used “a poor choice of words to describe such a sensitive subject” and he’s “truly sorry.”

White has been the world’s dominant snowboarder for more than a decade, winning gold medals in 2006, 2010 and again this year, completing a comeback after finishing fourth in 2014.

As White was competing, many on social media resurfaced the details from the lawsuit by a former drummer in White’s rock band, the Bad Things. Lena Zawaideh said White sexually harassed and refused to pay her wages after he fired her. The lawsuit was settled in May for an undisclosed amount.

White was asked if the allegations might tarnish his reputation.


“I’m here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip and stuff,” he said. “I don’t think so.

“I am who I am and I’m proud of who I am. And my friends, you know, love me and vouch for me and I think that stands on its own.”

When a reporter tried to follow up, U.S. Ski & Snowboard official Nick Alexakos interrupted, saying: “I think we’re here to talk about the gold medal … if you don’t have another question why don’t you go ahead and pass the mike.”

In the lawsuit, Zawaideh said White repeatedly sexually harassed her, forced her to watch pornography and told her how to get her hair cut.

The man who showed up at the PyeongChang Olympics opening ceremony dressed as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is not Korean, does not speak Korean and is not from either Korea. According to Yahoo’s Eric Adelson, the impersonator gave his name as “Howard” and said he’s from Australia and of Chinese descent. After getting the bum’s rush out of the opening ceremony along with his partner, a President Donald Trump impersonator, he was back Wednesday for the women’s ice hockey game between the unified Korean team and Japan.

And again, Fake Kim was escorted roughly from the premises.


Apparently officials on the scene thought Howard was trying to rile up the North Korean cheerleaders on hand, and indeed, he told Adelson that one of his goals was to “meet the cheerleaders.” And he kind of did, though they didn’t exactly look altogether happy at his presence.

MEN’S HOCKEY: Russia lost its opener to Slovakia, 3-2.

The Russians gave up a two-goal lead as defensive errors allowed Slovakia to end the first period tied at 2-2. Peter Ceresnak scored the winner with a slap shot in the third.

FIGURE SKATING: The Chinese pair of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong skated a flawless, season-best short program to take the slimmest of leads over Russian skaters Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov after the first day of pairs competition.

Sui and Han scored 82.39 points for their breathtaking, almost ethereal version of the Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah.”

Tarasova and Morozov, skating last among the 22 teams, scored 81.68 points to a piano concerto by Rachmaninov. That also was a season best for the pair, and keeps them in contention for the gold medal.


Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada were third with 76.82 points, less than a point ahead of German favorites Aliona Savchenkno and Bruno Massot.

MEN’S NORDIC COMBINED: Dominant throughout his career, Eric Frenzel wasn’t about to let a half-minute deficit deny him of another taste of Olympics glory.

The 29-year-old German erased 38 seconds after the ski jumping stage and surged ahead of Akito Watabe on the last uphill of the 10-kilometer cross-country race to defend his title in the normal hill event.

With just over 1 kilometer remaining in Wednesday’s race, it looked like Watabe might give Japan its first gold of the games. But Frenzel powered ahead of the World Cup leader on the hill for Germany’s sixth gold in PyeongChang.

Watabe finished 4.8 seconds behind for the silver while Lukas Klapfer of Austria took the bronze.

“Just before the last hill, I thought I had a shot at gold,” Watabe said. “But when Eric started to climb the hill like that I knew I wasn’t going to get it.”


WOMEN’S SPEEDSKATING: Speedskater Jorien ter Mors set an Olympics record to win the 1,000 meters, earning a fifth gold medal for the Netherlands in as many events.

Favorite Nao Kodaira slumped over the last half lap and had to settle for silver ahead of her Japanese teammate Miho Takagi.

Brittany Bowe of the United States finished just outside the medals.

No one has ever completed the race faster at sea level. Ter Mors crossed in 1 minute 13.56 seconds, beating Kodaira by 0.26 seconds and Takagi by 0.42 seconds.

She beat the 2002 Olympics mark of U.S. skater Chris Witty which was set at high altitude.

MEN’S DOUBLE LUGE: Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt of Germany won their second consecutive Olympics doubles luge gold medal. Wendl and Arlt finished their two runs in 1 minute, 31.697 seconds. They’re the first German team to win two straight doubles golds since Hans Rinn and Norbert Hahn in 1976 and 1980.

The Austrian team of Peter Penz and Georg Fischler was second, less than one-tenth of a second off the winning time. Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken of Germany took third.

“I can’t describe the words that I’m feeling, what the feeling is inside,” Arlt said. “We’re again Olympic champions and so happy, it’s just amazing.”

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