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FIS Endorses New Olympic Events

FIS Endorses New Olympic Events

[ June 9, 2010 - 4:47pm ]
by Joe Cutts, Deputy Editor, SKI Magazine
Skier Halfpipe
Photo by: Flickr
Women’s jumping, ski halfpipe and two more snowboard competitions recommended for inclusion at Sochi. A chance for skiers to one-up the snowboarders?

We know it’s a big deal that the FIS will recommend women’s ski jumping for inclusion in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, but we can’t help being more excited about the possible inclusion of both men’s and women’s ski halfpipe.

It’s not a done deal yet by any means, but at its 2010 meeting in Antalya, Turkey, the International Ski Congress of the FIS voted this week to formally recommend to the International Olympic Committee that women’s ski jumping and both men’s and women’s ski halfpipe be included in the 2014 games, along with snowboard slopestyle and team snowboardcross.

Sure, the female jumpers deserve their moment, and the International Olympic Committee was wrong to bar them at Vancouver—the only sport in which men were allowed to compete, but not women. To be sure, the international media will make a bigger deal out of that than ski halfpipe. Rightly so.

But skiers can’t help noticing how big a deal the snowboard halfpipe event is—and what great exposure it has brought to the sport of snowboarding. Now consider this: as huge as those snowboarders go in the pipe, skiers go even bigger. And if you still have some vestige of a stake in the ski vs. snowboard wars, as we admit we do, you’ll welcome the chance to see skiers jacking those extra feet out of the same pipe the snowboard athlete’s use. It’s simple physics: Skiers go bigger. And it’s time the world knew that.

Meanwhile, snowboarding gets richer with the inclusion of the slopestyle and team snowboardcross events. Ironic, isn’t it? Snowboarders have never liked the FIS, never liked having a bunch of European skiers being in charge of their inclusion or exclusion from the Olympics. But thanks to those same FIS delegates in Turkey, snowboarding’s Olympic exposure stands to get even richer. (Photo courtesy of Couloir)