Additional Disciplines for Winter Olympics
The 2014 Winter Olympic Games will be held in Sochi, Russia. Additional disciplines have been added to the games, and have been welcomed by athletes, giving them more freedom as to the events that they can qualify in. Now snowboard slopestyle, parallel slalom snowboarding and slopestyle skiing events will also be allowed, and the International Olympic Committee has also made the decision to allow women’s ski jumping and halfpipe skiing into the next Winter Olympic Games.
Bill Marolt, the CEO and President of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, commented on the decision made by the International Olympic Committee with great enthusiasm, saying that the addition of the new events, especially slopestyle, will encourage the youth, as there are already millions of younger athletes who are enjoying the terrain parks and perfecting their skill. The inclusion of these events will have a far reaching effect, with U.S. Freeskiing and U.S. Snowboarding being impacted positively by this decision.
The slopestyle event involves a man-made course that consists of various jumps, rails and boxes, making up a terrain course. Many ski resorts have included terrain courses as part of their facilities as they are popular with both snowboarding and skiing enthusiasts. There will therefore be nine new events for contenders to receive medals in, for both men and women.
Shaun White, a snowboarding superstar in America, competed in the 2010 Vancouver Games and won two gold medals for halfpipe events, and said that he would definitely be considering the slopestyle events in Sochi. Snowboarding made its way to the Nagano Games in 1998, and ever since the games, the sport has developed into various disciplines such as snowboardcross. The inclusion of the parallel special slalom is also exciting, as it is a more technical discipline than giant slalom. Recognizing that slopestyle has become a major developing sport in the winter sport industry has seen it included in the 2014 Winter Olympics, and will most definitely give the youth more encouragement to practice and improve their talents to make it to the Olympics one day.