With the 2013 FIS Snowboard World Cup season well on its way, the Sprint US Snowboarding Grand Prix has joined the series with a calendar of events that promises the best Olympic Qualifier period ever. There is a total of nine FIS freestyle snowboarding competitions to come this winter. Two of these events will be Grand Prix events in Park City and Copper Mountain.
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With the 2013 FIS Snowboard World Cup season having kicked off at the end of August with a high-class halfpipe competition and the best starting field of recent years in Cardrona, New Zealand, this winter season will provide a total of nine more FIS World Cup freestyle snowboarding competitions securing the best Olympic Qualifier period ever.
Focusing mainly on the Olympic events of halfpipe and slopestyle, the FIS Snowboard World Cup this season is designed to achieve its goal of "quality over quantity".
Following successful discussions between FIS and its National Associations, as well as local Organisers with representatives of the World Snowboard Tour in order to harmonize the freestyle snowboarding calendar and allow more riders to qualify for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the first ever co-sanctioned FIS World Cup competitions have emerged.
The two events of the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix in Park City and Copper Mt. will become FIS World Cups this season and will also count for the World Snowboard Tour. As a consequence, riders can win FIS World Cup points which count for the Olympic Qualifier process and World Snowboarding point list.
Hosting nine high-standard halfpipe and slopestyle events plus the FIS World Championship competitions in these events that are also part of the Olympic Qualifying process, gives every rider the chance to qualify for the next Olympic Winter Games.
"We will run five halfpipe and four slopestyle top-level FIS World Cups this season. Those contests will allow riders to choose where to start and provide them with several options to achieve the qualification standards for Sochi 2014," said FIS Snowboard Race Director Uwe Beier.
For riders who do not yet have the minimum of FIS point level mandatory to start on the FIS World Cup tour, the requirement has been reduced for the first two halfpipe competitions (Cardrona and Park City) and slopestyle contests (Copper and Sochi).
"Riders can enter the first two FIS World Cup halfpipe and slopestyle competitions with zero FIS points," explained Beier, who also pointed out that fewer events ran at the highest level meets the demands of the riders.
"As a result, this Olympic Qualifying period has never been better for riders: there are no calendar conflicts, top organised events at excellent facilities with high-quality standards!"