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Olympian Scotty Lago Heads Home After Photo Controversy

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People: Scotty Lago, winner of the bronze medal in the men's halfpipe snowboarding event Wednesday, voluntarily left the Winter Olympics Friday after risqué photos of a woman kissing and biting the medal surfaced in the media.

The free-spirited Lago, 22, was snapped with his bronze medal around his waist and the hardware hung over his groin area, allowing a woman to kiss it on a public street late Thursday in Vancouver.

A second shot shows the woman biting the medal, but this time Lago is holding it up by the logo on his Team USA T-shirt.

Lago apologized to the U.S. Olympic Committee and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, which required athletes to attend a special ambassador program prior to the games to avoid potential publicity nightmares.

"Scotty Lago is a great athlete, but with that comes a responsibility of proper conduct, and his involvement in this situation is not acceptable," said Association President and CEO Bill Marolt in a statement. "Scotty realizes his conduct was inappropriate. He has formally apologized and also made a decision to leave Vancouver today."

So far, officials have taken no action against the Seabrook, N.H. native.

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3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Greg February 21, 2010, 10:59 AM

Moral of the story? Having a free spirit is a bad thing. The spirit of olympians should be constrained to a little cage of propriety and blandness.

If I were to win third place in a **world-wide sporting event**, these would be the least of my celebratory activities. Are olympians supposed to try their absolute hardest to succeed at a sport, only to be hung up to dry between tournament and practice, with no life of their own?

Jen February 21, 2010, 1:43 PM

It has nothing to do with him being a free-spirit. It has to do with the fact that he was being disrespectful to the spirit of the Olympics and every athlete that participates. Putting the medal to your groin area to have a chick kiss it is insulting to every athlete that train hours on end to try to win a medal.

pilgrim February 25, 2010, 7:00 PM

It’s the most honest reason to be seen for wanting to win a medal. Get chicks. Or dudes. Whatever your deal is.

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