Frozen facts: 14 things to know about snowboard slopestyle's Road to Sochi
Skyler Wilder, NBCOlympics.com
Jan 22, 4:45pm EST
Snowboard slopestyle will be making its debut to the Olympic program at the 2014 Sochi Games. This may the inaugural showing for snowboard slopestyle at the Olympics, but the sport itself has been around for some time now and has an established field of riders. Here are 14 things to know to get you up to speed with who to watch and why.
The renderings of the first-ever Olympic slopestyle course were released in August 2013 and they were quite revealing. Not only did they show that every jump section will be equipped with two sizes of kickers, but that there will only be three jumps in succession following three technical jib and rail sections. Although many large slopestyle events (Dew Tour and X Games) are including four jump sections and four rail sections, the athletes seem pleasantly surprised by the Olympic setup.
2. Shaun White does double duty
Shaun White will be pulling double duty for a chance at double gold with the addition of snowboard slopestyle. Due to aggravating an old injury at the Dew Tour, the first of five U.S. selection events, White was forced to pull out of the final. At the next three Grand Prix U.S. selection events White would not only sustain another serious slam on the slope course, but also a first-place finish and the first clinched spot on Team USA’s first-ever snowboard slopestyle squad.
Sage Kotsenburg has been riding with the nickname of “Second Run Sage” following a number of events where he suffered a slipup on his first run before recovering during his second run to either make the final event or find a top finish. Well, that nickname may have gone to rest at the final U.S. selection event as Kotsenburg secured the top score of the day on his first run!
4. Chuck G to the Olympics
Chas Guldemond, aka Chuck G, will be at the Olympics representing Team USA. He had one podium finish during the five U.S. selection events and has a reputation for keeping things stylish on the course, so keep your eyes on him for a true demonstration of snowboarding’s stylish roots as they have evolved into the jaw-dropping technicality that we commonly see in events today.
5. The woman to beat
Jamie Anderson will be coming into the Games on fire after winning the first of five U.S. selection events at the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colo., Anderson went on to win the third selection event at the Grand Prix at Mammoth Mtn., Calif. Not only did Anderson secure the first-ever position on a Team USA snowboard women’s slopestyle team, but she also won back-to-back events in the same day proving to all that she is bringing the ultimate consistency to Sochi. Anderson won four of five U.S. Selection events.