Slopestyle to be included in FIS World Championships; now one step closer to the 2014 Sochi Olympics

Photo courtesy of TTR World Tour

The International Ski Federation (FIS) Council recently announced that slopestyle will be included in the 2011 Freestyle and Snowboard World Championships. The Council arrived at this decision after their Autumn Meeting in Oberhofen, Switzerland.

The debate regarding slopestyle being added as an event at the 2014 Sochi Olympics is still being discussed; however the addition to the World Championships is just one more step closer to reaching that goal. In order for any sport to be included in the Olympics it must first be in two world championships overseen by an international governing body (the FIS). Slowly but surely, it looks to be like the slopestyle element of snowboarding is working its way towards the main event. Even more so after the news that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has postponed their decision on whether or not it will be included in the 2014 Olympics saying that they are, “looking favorably at the proposed events but before making a final decision, they have decided to look at the outcome of the World Championships of all the respective sports.”

No pressure for the World Championships…the decision only depends on how everything plays out come January in Deer Valley, UT and La Molina Spain.

FIS release below:

Oberhofen, 06.11.2010//- The FIS Council held its Autumn Meeting as is traditional at the FIS Headquarters in Oberhofen, Switzerland. It dealt with several important items on its agenda and the main decisions include the following:

FIS World Cup calendars 2010/2011 to 2013/2014

The Council approved minor modifications to the FIS World Cup Calendars for the 2010/2011 season which were proposed by the respective Technical Committees, the final versions of which are available on the FIS website.

FIS World Championships and Junior World Championships

For the Freestyle and Snowboard World Championships 2011 in Deer Valley (USA) and La Molina (SPA), respectively, the Council confirmed the addition of slopestyle to the program. The final schedules for both Championships will be published on the FIS website shortly.

Olympic Winter Games and Youth Olympics

As far as the program for the Olympic Winter Games is concerned, the IOC Executive Board (EB) meeting in Acapulco decided that it is looking favorably at the inclusion of the FIS events: ladies’ Ski Jumping, Freestyle Ski half-pipe, Freestyle Ski slopestyle, Snowboard slopestyle. Before taking a final decision, the IOC EB said it would like to consider the outcome of the respective World Championships during the winter season in 2011. The Council acknowledged that FIS is pleased that four event requests are seen favorably by the IOC Executive Board but at the same time very disappointed that out of all proposed new events on the Olympic Winter Games program across all sports, the only one excluded from the positive list is the Alpine Team Event. This view has already been expressed officially to the IOC with the request to view also the Alpine Team Event at the upcoming FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

The IOC Olympic Program Commission analyzed all the requests put forward by the International Federations based and submitted its findings to the EB. The key positive factors included whether the changes would increase universality, gender equity and youth appeal, and in general add value to the Games. Other considerations included the cost of infrastructure, and the impact on the overall quota and the number of events.