Julia Marino Withdrawal Puts IOC Actions Into Question

The International Olympic Committee is facing scrutiny over whether it caused Team USA’s Julie Marino to injure herself by mandating changes to her Prada snowboard.

Marino won the silver medal in women’s slopestyle on her stylish red-and-white snowboard, but Prada’s not an IOC sponsor. The IOC demanded the seven-time X Games medalist cover the Prada logo on her $3,600 snowboard. 

Did It Cost Marino A Medal?

Marino was apparently so distracted by the controversy she crashed and injured herself during a practice round for the women’s big air event. 

The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee argued Marino’s case to the IOC to no avail. In a letter obtained by Front Office Sports, USOPC vice president Dean Nakamura warned that covering the logo 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. For these reasons, we ask the IOC to reconsider its position and allow Julia Marino to use the board used during the Snowboard Slopestyle competition,” he wrote.  The IOC still said no.
  • Marino then drew over the Prada logo with a Sharpie, but the alterations slowed her run down.
  • The 24-year-old got hurt again, forcing her to withdraw from the Olympics.

Marino explained her decision in an Instagram post: “Decided not to risk further injury even [though] that didn’t appear to be the top priority of the IOC.”