Olympic champ skips WCup race in Turkey amid safety concerns
VIENNA (AP) — Olympic snowboard champion Julia Dujmovits has pulled out of a World Cup event in the central Turkish city of Kayseri on Saturday because of security concerns.
The Austrian snowboarder said Wednesday she doesn’t feel safe traveling to a city where 13 people were killed in a suicide car bomb attack on a public bus less than three months ago.
“Sorry, I’ve not become a snowboarder to compete under police protection and guarded by sharpshooters,” Dujmovits wrote on her website, adding that Turkey is “a country which, due to its current political situation, just can’t guarantee safety.”
Her Austrian teammates are set to compete in Saturday’s event, the last parallel giant slalom of the season.
“It’s my very personal opinion. Of course, I respect that other athletes have decided differently on this case,” Dujmovits said.
The fourth-ranked Dujmovits, who won the Olympic parallel slalom title in 2014, could no longer win the discipline title. The Austrian said she would use the time to extend her preparations for the March 9-17 snowboard world championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain.