'Team Outcast' ignites Olympic funding feud

The Olympic Games have always been a symbol of togetherness and teamwork but for the Australian snowboard team, this year’s Winter Games has been more divisive than uniting.

A group of snowboarders headed by silver medallist Torah Bright and including Scotty James, Belle Brockhoff and Jarryd Hughes have labelled themselves 'Team Outcast', igniting a feud over funding.

The athletes say the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and the Olympic Winter Institute (OWIA) have spent too much money on Alex “Chumpy” Pullin and not enough on other athletes.

In an emailed open letter released after Belle Brockhoff competed in the snowboard cross event, her father Bruce outlined a number of issues he had with the AOC and OWIA.

He says his daughter did not have access to the same training and services that some other team members received.

On Twitter, the “Outcasts” have used the hashtag #teamoutcast to show their solidarity with each other, but the hashtag has not been used by the snowboarders since the beginning of the games.

In response to the allegations, the AOC says Torah Bright and Scotty James have turned down scholarships and Belle Brockhoff and Jarryd Hughes receive extensive incentive payments toward training and support.

It says it will respond in full to the claims following Mr Pullin’s race on Monday.

Amidst the controversy, Ms Brockhoff is shedding light on the injustices she has faced as an openly gay athlete during this year's Olympics.

The 21-year-old says she has been the subject of a number of hate tweets related to her sexuality.

She says she will respond to the issue after this year's Olympics.

Source: SBS