Accusations of sexual harassment, racism leveled against longtime U.S. snowboard cross coach and athlete

Snowboard cross at the 2022 Winter Olympics
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U.S. Ski & Snowboard said it is aware of claims of sexual harassment and racism that were made against a snowboarding coach and athlete who are at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.

Earlier this week, 2010 U.S. Olympian Callan Chythlook-Sifsof leveled accusations against longtime U.S. snowboard cross coach Peter Foley and current U.S. snowboard cross athlete Hagen Kearney, who is competing in his second Olympics in Beijing.

In an Instagram post, Chythlook-Sifsof accused Foley of taking naked photos of female athletes for “over a decade.” Outsports, which first reported Chythlook-Sifsof’s accusations, said it has received a similar allegation from another woman. In a separate Instagram post, Chythlook-Sifsof alleged that Foley made inappropriate sexual comments to her when she was a minor. Foley has been coaching the U.S. snowboard cross team since founding the U.S. snowboard team in 1994.

Chythlook-Sifsof, who in 2010 became the first indigenous Alaskan to represent the United States at the Olympics, accused Kearney of racism, repeated use of the N-word, and inappropriate sexual comments, including in the presence of U.S. coaches and staff. She recounted an experience at a 2014 competition in Canada when – after asking Kearney to stop using the N-word – he confronted her. “He got 6 inches from my face, fake punched at me and said, ‘What? What are you gonna do about it?’ I turned around, walked to my elevator (his room was on opposite side of bldg) and he followed me into it,” Chythlook-Sifsof wrote on Instagram.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard spokesperson Tom Horrocks said the organization “has been made aware of the recent allegations. We take these allegations very seriously and the allegations are being investigated,” Horrocks wrote in an email. Horrocks did not respond to a request for clarification on who is leading the investigation.

On Her Turf reached out to Foley and Kearney through U.S. Ski & Snowboard, but did not hear back. Kearney told USA Today, via email, “I made a mistake years ago with my words and appropriate action was taken. I learned from my mistake and I’m a better person now for it.”

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee did not respond to a request for comment.

Kearney has already competed in individual men’s snowboard cross on Thursday, finishing 17th overall, and was not selected to compete in the mixed gender team snowboard cross event. It is unclear whether Foley will coach the team event on Saturday morning in Beijing (Friday night in the United States).

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