The 2010 Vancouver Games aren't even underway yet, and people are already debating whether another snowboarding discipline -- slopestyle -- will debut at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. This past weekend in Calgary, slopestyle was included at a World Cup event for the first time.
The spectator-friendly event contains all the hallmarks of freestyle snowboarding. Each rider tackles several terrain-park features on the way down including jumps, rails and boxes, and they're judged on the difficulty level of their run and how many tricks they employ. Competitors don't race against the clock, and fluidity and precision are key to high scores.
U.S. Snowboarding Head Coach Peter Foley said that adding slopestyle to the Olympic program makes sense. "If you go to any modern mountain, you can see that slopestyle is how snowboarding is practiced by kids in America," Foley said. "Kids love to ride the park. For me, it is the logical next step for Olympic snowboarding, and you can see from the X Games and other big contests that the level it's being practiced at is incredibly high.
"I think the U.S. would be very competitive in slopestyle, although there would be big competition from the Scandinavians, and that's cool," added Foley. American athletes like Shaun White have had strong showings in slopestyle competitions for years, including White's record four consecutive top finishes at the X Games. That streak was snapped in 2007 when White took bronze.
Chris Rudge, chief executive officer for the Canadian Olympic Committee, believes the event's proponents are doing all the right things. "They're on track and personally I enjoy it very much, it adds the same kind of excitement that (halfpipe) does," Rudge said. "These are the kind of things they're looking for in the Olympic movement, to engage people."
To be eligible for the 2014 Winter Games, slopestyle will have to be included at two International Ski Federation Snowboard World Championships. Proponents are hoping to add it to the roster at the FIS World Championships in Spain next year, so it will be eligible for consideration by the International Olympic Committee.
george foreman says:
"Which such an impressive equipment, even if you don't win you just know that you look great trying to :p"
george foreman says:
"Liked the Gnu Danny Kass C2BTX, and especially the skull.