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Athlete Reacts to Stojko's Comments

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Adam van Koeverden, a Canadian kayaker scheduled to compete in the Beijing Olympics later this year, has called skater Elvis Stojko's calls for athletes to boycott the games "ridiculous," according to The Canadian Press.

"I don't think going to China to race in my kayak means I'm signing on as a member of their parliament or agreeing with any of their foreign policies," Van Koeverden said. "I definitely think the Olympics should be (in China), it's produced more opportunities for dialogue and discussion and that's always been the biggest driving force for change."

Van Koeverden, one of Canada's top hopes for a medal in Beijing, met with the media at the Burloak Canoe Club on Thursday in a brief break from a gruelling training and competition schedule heading into the Olympics. In a wide-ranging conversation with reporters, the outspoken paddler voiced his frustration over comments by former figure skater Elvis Stojko, who suggested athletes boycott Beijing.

"I just think if these were (Stojko's) Olympics, he probably would have moderated his comments a little bit more," Van Koeverden said. "I respect him, I respect his comments, everybody has a right to their opinion. But I question whether that would be his opinion if he was on his way to get his gold medal. Especially after two silvers."

Sounds like van Koeverden is pretty upset. He even pointed out that he's seen Stojko skate in Canada before. van Koeverden already has a gold and bronze medal from competing in Athens in 2004. van Koeverden apparently wrote his opinions on his blog (I could not find the post to link to, feel free to post in comments).

Van Koeverden's coach, Scott Oldershaw, was part of the 1980 Canadian team but he did not get to go to the Olympics due to the boycott.