Canadian Olympic Committee Congratulates Skiers and Snowboarders On The Addition of Slopestyle and Parallel Slalom to Sochi 2014 Programme
The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) is pleased to congratulate Canadian skiers and snowboarders on the addition of the slopestyle discipline to their sports, in addition to snowboard parallel slalom at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
“This is wonderful news for skiers and snowboarders, and for the Canadian Olympic Team,” said Jean R. Dupré, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary General of the COC. “We are excited about these new disciplines and proud to bring these magnificent athletes to their first Olympic Winter Games.”
Slopestyle sends athletes down a terrain park course, performing tricks on jumps, rails and other obstacles, with performance judged on difficulty, originality, amplitude of jumps and quality of execution.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) held its first slopestyle World Championships this year in both ski and snowboard. Canadian Kaya Turski won silver at the inaugural slopestyle ski event. She has also won back-to-back X Games slopestyle ski gold medals in 2010 and 2011, as well as bronze in 2009. Canadian T.J. Schiller won X Games gold on the men’s side in 2009. Charles Gagnier earned top spot in 2005.
On the snowboard side, Canadian rider Sebastien Toutant dominated the world of freestyle snowboarding with an impressive slopestyle win at the X-Games, as well as slopestyle and big air wins at two FIS World Cup events and two TTR World Tour 6-star events. Mark McMorris, who won the first ever slopestyle contest on the FIS World Cup Tour, held in Calgary, Alberta in 2010, stepped twice on the podium at TTR World Tour 6-star events this season. On the women’s front, Spencer O’Brien won silver in the women’s X-Games in 2009 and bronze in 2008.
Canada hosted the first ever Slopestyle event on the FIS World Cup Tour, held at WinSport Canada’s Canada Olympic Park in January of 2010.
“Canada is home to some of the best slopestyle athletes in the world,” said Caroline Assalian, COC Executive Managing Director of Sport and National Sport Federation Relations. “This is an exciting, fast-paced, action-packed new Olympic discipline that holds medal potential for Canadians in Sochi in 2014.”
The parallel slalom discipline in snowboard is similar to the Olympic discipline of parallel giant slalom. Snowboarders race head-to-head through a course of closely-clustered gates. The first athlete to get to the bottom moves on to the next round, until one racer wins gold in the final match-up. Typically, athletes who compete in parallel giant slalom will also race in the parallel slalom discipline.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) added ski halfpipe, another freestyle ski discipline, to the Sochi 2014 programme in April, deferring a decision on the addition of slopestyle ski and snowboard at that time. After a feasibility study with the FIS, and the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, the IOC announced Slopestyle’s addition to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games today.
The IOC has also announced the shortlist for sports being considered for the 2020 Olympic Games: baseball, karate, roller sports, softball, sports climbing, squash, wakeboard and wushu.