Photo: The Slopestyle course at the Brits in Laax - brits09 (photo Andrew Hingston)
Officials at the 123rd annual Olympic Committee session gave the long awaited nod yesterday to the inclusion of slopestyle skiing and snowboarding in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
It is a great leap forward for a sport which has gone from strength to strength in recent years. The inclusion of slopestyle will allow athletes to showcase to the world the diversity of a sport which has come on a long way since park kids first started terrifying their parents with their tricks just over a decade ago.
“We are very pleased with the addition of ski and snowboard slopestyle and snowboard special slalom in the Olympic Winter Games programme” said Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC, “such events provide great entertainment for the spectators and add further youthful appeal to our already action-packed lineup of Olympic winter sports.”
We are delighted at the news. Not only is slopestyle a great spectator sport, with athletes showing off their best tricks on a course of kickers, rails and boxes, but it also represents a rare medal opportunity for Britain.
The British freestyle team is in good health at the moment, with skier James Woods getting a top 10 finish at the FIS World Champions in Deer Valley this year and a bronze at the European Winter X Games in Tignes. On top of this Jenny Jones has achieved 3 Winter X Games golds in her career, but as she is now 31 she will need to stay on top of her game if she is to achieve the same success in Sochi.
As is etiquette in the park, we give the IOC a big ‘high five’ for this decision, and wish the British Freestyle team the best of luck in preparing for the world’s biggest stage!
Posted by Marcus Blunt on Tuesday 05 Jul 2011