Skiers and snowboarders are breathing a sigh of relief today upon receiving news that the International Ski Federation (FIS) has scrapped plans to use the same judges for both freeskiing and snowboarding events at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The plan to use joint-judges was originally met with outrage and opposition from athletes and endemics, causing the issue to be revisited last week at FIS’s biannual Congress held in South Korea.
The original proposal was drafted as an effort to save money on judging costs, but was overruled by the Congress. According to an e-mail ESPN received from Jeremy Forster, U.S. Freesking and Snowboarding Director, “near unanimous support for separate judging panels” was observed at the Congress held in Asia.
The news of separate judging has reverberated on social sites, with athletes expressing their relief and support for the decision. Olympian Louie Vito, who has his sights set on the Sochi Games, took to Facebook and Twitter, expressing his relief, “GREAT NEWS TO WAKE UP TO!! NO SHARED JUDGING AT THE 2014 OLYMPICS!!!”
FIS now turns its attention to reducing scheduling conflicts between non-FIS events, including those hosted by snowboarding’s Ticket to Ride Series (TTR) and the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP).