Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Follow All The Winter Olympics Action Feb. 6-24 on NBC

South Africa Denies Teenage Skier Sochi Place

By EDDIE PELLS
|  Friday, Jan 24, 2014  |  Updated 10:35 AM CDT
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Sochi's Winter Olympics Spectacular

Bloomberg via Getty Images

File - The Olympic rings sit on 25 ruble denomination coins, commemorating the upcoming Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, in this arranged photograph at the OAO Sberbank headquarters in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. Two bombings at a train station and on a trolleybus killed at least 26 people within 24 hours in the southern city of Volgograd, less than six weeks before Russia hosts the Winter Olympics, investigators said. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

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South Africa's Olympic committee has withdrawn its sole qualifier for the Sochi Games, saying slalom skier Sive Speelman isn't good enough.

Speelman had qualified for Sochi according to Olympic criteria and been allocated a spot at the games, even though he is ranked outside the top 2,000. But the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee says it won't send him because it wants its athletes at the games to be "of the highest quality."

The decision has been criticized in South Africa. The 18-year-old Speelman is from the country's rural and impoverished Eastern Cape province and his home town is one of the few places in South Africa where it occasionally snows. 

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