Wild shrugs off 'haters' to win double gold

Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:38am EST
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By Philip O'Connor

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Snowboarder Vic Wild won his second gold medal for adopted country Russia on Saturday and shrugged off accusations he had turned his back on the United States for financial reasons.

Wild added the parallel slalom title to the giant slalom gold he collected on Wednesday, a win that prompted criticism in the United States about his switch.

"No matter what you do in your life, people are going to hate you," Wild told a news conference.

"If you're good at something, people are going to hate you. It's just the way it is."

Wild said his decision had nothing to do with financial incentives.

"After the giant slalom there was a lot of questions: ‘How would you have done if you were riding for the United States, compared to riding for Russia?'" the 27-year-old said.

"I want everybody to understand - there was no question of, ‘If I continue riding for the United States, this is what I'm going to get, and if I start riding for Russia this is what I'm going to get'."

Wild said he had intended to quit snowboarding to go to college when the opportunity to represent Russia came up.   Continued...

Russia's winner Vic Wild celebrates during flower ceremony after the men's parallel snowboard finals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor February 22, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson