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Aussie snowboarder Scotty James comes out swinging

By in Press Enterprise on February 12, 2018

By Scott Reid

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea—Australian snowboarder Scotty James’ trademark is a pair of red boxing gloves he wears on the slopes.

The gloves are a tribute to a national symbol of Australia, the red gloved boxing kangaroo.

But the gloves also personify the Melbourne 23-year-old: pugnacious, flamboyant and always ready to rumble.

The gloves say, he said, “I’m Scotty James and I here to play.”

Indeed James arrived at the Olympic Games swinging.

At two-time Olympic half-pipe champion Shaun White.

At other snowboarders

And especially at the sport’s judges.

The gloves and all they stand for will be on display at the Olympic half-pipe finals Wednesday (Tuesday on the West Coast) at Phoenix Snow Park.

James is the gold medal favorite and he has spent much of the past two weeks reminding judges, reporters, White of that.

James’ complaint with the judging is twofold.

James signature trick is a switch backside, double cork 1260 in which makes a blind entry into three-and-a-half rotations and then makes a blind landing. He is the only person to land the jump in competition and he insists he has not been adequately rewarded for that by the judges.

At the same time James argues that judging panels have inflated White’s scores. Example A, James said, is White’s perfect 100-point score at last month’s Toyota U.S. Grand Prix in Colorado, an event in which James was second. It was only the third time a rider has been awarded a perfect score. White and Chloe Kim, the teenage superstar out Torrance, both posted 100-point marks at the 2016 U.S. Grand Prix.

“ I was just curious,” James told reporters, as to why the judges gave White a perfect score. “Personally, and I have spoken to a lot of other snowboarders, it’s pretty tough to get a perfect score. I didn’t agree with that at all.”

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