Ski and snow slopestyle debuts at Sochi 2014!
This is something that has been up in the air for some time now. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) were meant to have come to a decision on this a while ago but kept delaying so they could have more time. That time is now up and their decision has been made. They are to include snowboard AND ski slopestyle into the Winter Olympics when it rolls around to Sochi 2014. Here's the official word:
The IOC confirmed today the inclusion of ski slopestyle (men and women), snowboard slopestyle (men and women) and snowboard parallel special slalom (men and women) on the sports programme of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
The decision was taken by the IOC Executive Board (EB) ahead of the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa, and follows the inclusion in April of ski halfpipe (men and women), women’s ski jumping, biathlon mixed relay, figure skating team event and luge team relay.
“We are very pleased with the addition of ski and snowboard slopestyle and snowboard special slalom in the Olympic Winter Games programme," said IOC President Jacques Rogge. “Such events provide great entertainment for the spectators and add further youthful appeal to our already action-packed lineup of Olympic winter sports. We look forward to welcoming all the athletes to Sochi in 2014."
The Olympic Programme Commission (OPC) initially proposed the inclusion of the events to the EB in Acapulco in October last year. The OPC studied the proposal of the individual International Sports Federations and, at the request of the EB, compiled a detailed analysis of all candidate events at their respective world championships last winter. The decision was also based on an operational feasibility study undertaken by the organisers of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games.
This is a huge step forward for winter sports! As the popularity grows with the general public, steps like this will only help with exposure and encourage more people to take up the sport. The BBC are already pushing for a British medal as they look to Jenny Jones and James Woods to claim something but let's hope they don't get too carried away like they did with Andy Murray at Wimbledon!
What are your thoughts on this though? With reports of Shaun White saying he wants to add slopestyle to his Olympic schedule, is it a sport that will be dominated by the Flying Tomato or will we see other riders shining through? It definitely opens up the field that's for sure but is it going to harm different stops on the TTR World Tour? Many questions for a positive subject...