Sometimes, your unfiltered thoughts can land you in a tricky spot. This much seems to be certainly true for French alpine skier Mathieu Faivre who was kicked out of the 2018 Winter Olympic games in PyeongChang, South Korea on Sunday.
While the majority of the sentiment of competing athletes was to show solidarity with their team members, Faivre landed in hot waters after he said he was in the country for himself "only." Faivre made the comment after landing himself in the seventh position in the men's giant slalom. The results for the event showed that he was surpassed by his own team members, such as France's Alexis Pinturault.
Faivre let loose in front of a reporter after being asked about his performance on Sunday. According to France 24, Faivre said, "I'm here to race for myself only. Don't expect miracles - eighth is my best place in the World Cup." After being asked about his fellow countrymen, the French skier retorted, "If you only knew what I think about the group collective." Faivre said he was "disgusted with the result" and added, "I felt I was skiing well in the second run but when I saw where I'd finished it was like a slap in the face."
Soon after Faivre's Sunday comments, David Chastan who heads the French men's skiing program, told AFP that the French skier was no longer allowed to remain in the country. "Mathieu will return to France for disciplinary reasons. He made remarks after the race that were not in the spirit of the team and will not be retained for the team event," Chastan said.
Faivre has apologized since then and took to social media to explain his less-than-diplomatic remarks. "Skiing is an individual sport that is practiced as a team," Faivre said. "However, when we are in the starting gate, only our individual race and our own performance are important. So yes, when it came time to give my feelings on my race, a few 10 minutes after crossing the finish line, only my performance and failure were present."
In addition to that, Faivre said that "coming from the south [of France]," he had "hot blood." He apologized and said that he didn't mean to disrespect any of his fellow team members.
Faivre is no stranger to the cutthroat and brutal world of professional skiing. His father was ski instructor and proved to be a significant influence on the French skier while growing up. He said he began learning the ins and outs of skiing as a toddler. In June 2017, the Olympic athlete explained, "I started sliding as soon as I was able to walk, with my dad and my granddad. Then I followed the normal curriculum, going through all the usual steps and categories" while talking to the International Ski Federation.
You may not have heard of Faivre before. But here's a little tidbit: Faivre is American Alpine skier and Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin's boyfriend. The couple began dating in the summer of 2017 and have struck a long distance relationship ever since then. In comments to The New Yorker, Shiffrin told her ex-roommate Bug Pech, "I don't know if this is a smart thing to do long distance." But the American skier calls her boyfriend "the least complicated" person in her life and seems pretty happy.
While speaking with Sports Illustrated in January, Shiffrin said, "He’s a ski racer, so he understands all that. If I have a bad day and I’m like, 'What if I’ve forgotten how to ski?' That’s crazy, but he understands. He is the least complicated thing in my life."