NEWS
20/02/2018 00:04 SAST

French Skier Booted From Olympics After Angry Remarks About Teammates

Mathieu Faivre, who is dating American Olympian Mikaela Shiffrin, said he’s “here to race for myself only.”

Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom via Getty Images
French Alpine skier Mathieu Faivre is seen during the Alpine Skiing Men's Giant Slalom on Sunday.

French Alpine skier Mathieu Faivre has been sent home from the 2018 Winter Olympics after he suggested that he didn’t care about his teammates and was “here to race for myself only.”

The 26-year-old, who is dating Olympic women’s giant slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S. team, made the controversial comments to a reporter after finishing seventh in the men’s giant slalom in Pyeongchang on Sunday. Three of his countrymen placed above him in the event, including bronze medalist Alexis Pinturault.

Faivre, who won gold in the team event at last year’s World Championships, was asked by a reporter how he felt about French skiers filling four of the top seven spots, Agence France-Presse reported.

Faivre was quoted as saying he was “disgusted with the result” and “I’m here to race for myself only.”

Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom via Getty Images
Mathieu Faivre is seen during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Giant Slalom in January.

“If you only knew what I think about the group collective,” Faivre said. “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.”

David Chastan, the director for the French men’s skiing program, confirmed to AFP on Monday that Faivre was sent home.

“Mathieu will return to France for disciplinary reasons,” Chastan told the news agency. “He made remarks after the race that were not in the spirit of the team and will not be retained for the team event.”

That team event is scheduled for Saturday.

Faivre has since issued an apology on Facebook, saying he meant no disrespect to anyone.

“Skiing is an individual sport that is practiced as a team. However, when we are in the starting gate, only our individual race and our own performance are important,” Faivre posted. “So yes, when it came time to give my feelings on my race, 10 minutes after crossing the finish line, only my performance and failure were present.”

Faivre has been dating Shiffrin, 22, since last summer. She recently told Us Weekly that because of the distance between them ― with Faivre living in France and Shiffrin in Colorado ― it’s been difficult for them to see each other.

Shiffrin earned her first gold medal of the 2018 Games on Thursday but has since decided to skip Tuesday’s women’s downhill event so she can focus on Wednesday’s super combined.

Faivre was photographed congratulating her shortly after her big win last week.

Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images
Mikaela Shiffrin is congratulated by boyfriend and French World Cup skier Mathieu Faivre after winning the gold medal in the Alpine Skiing Ladies' Giant Slalom competition.