Snowboarders respond to slopestyle's debut prior to Opening Ceremony
It has been long awaited, and in the minds of most quite overdue, but the time has come and snowboarders have officially ushered their discipline of slopestyle into the Olympic program. Yet, even more significant, their events debut was also the first Olympic competition at the Sochi Games.
We caught up with a handful of slopestyle snowboarders following their first-ever Olympic performances and asked them what they thought about the timing of their sport's debut to the Olympic program. For some it seemed to be a “bummer” as the two schedules created some conflict, while to others it seems to make no difference. There is even one athlete with a hunch as to how that scheduling may have in affect changed the structure for their elimination process.
Isabel Derungs, Switzerland
"[Thursday] was a contest that you could only win because nobody will drop out. I think that is because the Opening Ceremony is after the competition, so that’s a good feeling (laughs)."
Sage Kotsenburg, U.S.A.
"I’m stoked to get a day to just chill and go to Opening Ceremony and then get right back into it. It’s pretty random [riding the day before] but hopefully everyone is watching back home and there are a lot of new viewers - I hope."
Karly Shorr, U.S.A.
"It feels pretty crazy. It honestly hasn’t felt like the Olympics up to this point. It has felt like summer camp (laughs). Sleeping in a dorm room with all these new people and it’s kind of awkward at first but then everyone meshes and the vibes are all good - it has been so much fun. Opening Ceremony is when this is going to hit me. Seeing all the athletes and everyone all together in one spot. It’s going to be really cool!"
Sven Thorgren, Sweden
"It’s feels good because we are riding before and after the Opening Ceremony, so it doesn’t matter. The only thing that is a little bit of a bummer is that we can’t go to the ceremony because we have to get ready for the final the day after."
Silje Norendal, Norway
"It’s great! I’m just hoping that people watch it, get interested, like what we do and keep watching more snowboarding like X Games and the Dew Tour. I wish, I really wish, I could go [to Opening Ceremony] it’s just too much before, hopefully, the final on Sunday."
Max Parrot, Canada
"I’m really mad that I can’t go to Opening Ceremony because it is going to go until 2a.m. and we are going to compete the next morning, so I will need to get some rest and go to sleep early. I would love to go there and it would be an honor for me to go there, but I’m still really happy to compete in the first sport and this is an honor, too. So, it is 50-50. I’m just happy."
Spencer O’Brien, Canada
"It’s kind of weird [that we went before Opening Ceremony] but I’m kind of stoked that we went early. I think it really helped with the nerves with it being everyone’s first Olympics and the debuting of our sport that we were here before any of the other athletes got here and we had a little test event today (laughs)."
Anna Gasser, Austria
"I’m really happy it made it to the Olympics for more and more people to know what we are doing. Before people didn’t know it was a sport or that I was doing contests. I hope the questions are going to stop now about what I’m doing (laughs)."
Enni Rukajarvi, Finland
"Yeah, it’s kind of interesting [riding before], but I’m going to do the Opening Ceremony for sure!"
Sebastien Toutant, Canada
"It’s my first Olympics, I wanted to go to [Opening Ceremony] so bad to have that experience and live it, but I’m going to skip it for sure. The final is the next morning so I don’t want to be tired for my contest. I want to be healthy, but I’m going to watch it on TV. Just to know that I’m here, representing Canada - you know when you watch something that you know you are a part of and it makes you feel that much better? I think it is going to be a good experience even though I am just going to watch it on TV."
Staale Sandbech, Norway
"I mean, it’s nice weather (laughs) so, we have to take it while we can get it."
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