Langely McNeal is a US skier competing in this year's X-Games. Earlier today, she posted a status update on her facebook page indicating that she had been disqualified from the Women's Skier X final as a result of the French team protesting a Sarah Burke band around her thigh and a hair tie around her boot.
Sarah Burke, a Canadian freestyle skier, passed away on January 19, 2012 following a crash during a training session on Park City days earlier.
McNeal later updated her status to indicate a protest of the protest had been filed. "All hope isn't lost...my awesome wax tech chris taylor is protesting the protest. I'm sorry I'm the only girl up here without a custom spandex race suit. I'm seriously in shock right now." In the end, however, the disqualification stood and McNeal was banned from competing.
This all occurred some time ago and reports are few and far between. For instance ESPN, mother of the X-Games, had precious little to say about McNeal. Buried at the bottom of the page, in the second to last paragraph, McNeal's disqualification is addressed.
Australia's Jenny Owens won bronze by a whisker ahead of France's Marielle Berger, who received a late entry into the final after the U.S.'s Langely McNeal was disqualified for wearing clothing that was deemed too tight.
It is hard dealing with death properly and in a way that does not offend, but as always, honesty is usually the best policy. There appears to be, at the very least, a difference of opinion regarding what actually prompted the disqualification. Why not address it head on?
UPDATE (10:30 p.m.): The Denver Post checks in with some more details. Vice president of X Games events, Chris Stiepock, tells the Post that the disqualification was not related to Sarah Burke, while McNeal contends she was told by race officials her violation had to do with the Burke bands. The Post further notes that "[a]thletes all week have been wearing the Burke armbands in other events."
"It had nothing to do with the Sarah banner. It had to do with straps she had on both legs around her boots. I can quote from the rules: No straps or fastening devices or other methods can be used to tighten the suit material closer to the body," Stiepock said. "We certainly feel bad but this has nothing to do with the Sarah banner. We have allowed all the athletes to wear those banners without stopping really anybody. This had to do with the fastening devices around her pant legs."
McNeal said Sunday night she had a single hairtie around her right boot. She said she was told by race officials the violation involved the Sarah banner.
h/t Holly S.