In August, on the Bear Hollow water ramp in Park City, 26-year-old U.S. Ski Team aerialist and World Cup winner Matt Chojnacki (CHO nicky) did something no other athlete in the history of acrobatic sports has been able to do: He threw a quint-twisting quad. To us mortals, that means Sir Choj (as he is now known) connected five full twists (360-degree spins) while doing four complete back flips during a 3.2-second flight through the air.
But while Choj's quint quad (or what people who pay attention to this stuff would call a Half Rudy Double-Full Full) made the record books, you won't see it at the world championships in Blackcomb in January -- or in any on-snow competition anytime soon, for that matter. Despite the fact that Choj, teammate Eric Bergoust, and Canada's Nicolas Fontaine have all safely landed triple-twisting quads on snow at regulation sites over the past year (matching Frank Beddor's 1983 record), the Freestyle Committee of skiing's governing body, the FIS, just reaffirmed its longstanding rule that quad flips are verboten; only triple flips will be allowed until at least after the 2002 Winter Olympics. "I guess they didn't think we were going to ante up," says Chojnacki. "But we did."