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Fourth-Place Medal

British snowboarder and BBC announcers criticized for cheering competitor's fall

BBC welcomed 22-year-old British snowboarder Aimee Fuller into the announcing booth with broadcasters Ed Leigh and Tom Warwood for the women’s snowboarding slopestyle final on Sunday.

With British snowboarder Jenny Jones on the cusp of winning the country’s first medal of the Sochi games, Fuller began cheering when one of Jones’ competitors, Austria’s Anna Gasser, fell.

Gasser’s fall clinched the bronze for Jones, and after cheering, Fuller said: “Are we supposed to do that? Probably not.”

[Video: Gasser's fall opens door for Britain's Jeny Jones and USA's Jamie Anderson]

All three broadcasters began crying when it was clear that Jones had won a medal the country’s first-ever medal in a snow-based event.

The network is facing criticism for the over-the-top enthusiasm. Warwood and Leigh are both former snowboarders, and BBC has received “more than 300 complaints” about the coverage. Many have called their unusual style unprofessional.

Fuller, who didn't make the final as a competitor, responded to the criticism in a statement to Metro.

“We had some crazy responses from the commentary. It went off in that booth and I can honestly say that was an emotional, crazy rollercoaster,” she said.

[Photos: Five Olympic stories that you can't miss from Feb. 10]

“I am so glad we could share that with the viewers. The BBC guys Ed and Tim are also close to Jenny, like me, and snowboarding really is like a big family, so it meant so much to all of us. We were all moved to tears it wasn’t in any way show. I can’t believe actually how we all crumbled and let the emotions run wild.”

BBC acknowledged the complaints and said they will work on containing their excitement for future events.

“This was a truly historic occasion for Team GB and the commentary team was understandably very excited. However, we acknowledge that on occasion the excitement got the better of them and this is something that we will work on for future events,” a spokesperson said.

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