During the Vancouver 2010 winter Olympics many eyes will be focused on the snowboarding events that will be taking place. Although snowboarding only became an Olympic event at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, the sport has grown into one of the most popular Winter Olympic events over the past 10 years. The thrill of watching the competitors fly through the air in the half-pipe discipline and the array of insane tricks that come with that event has made snowboarding ever so popular all over the world.
Snowboarding was first developed during the1960’sand 1970’s in the United States. The first ever actual snow board was invented and manufactured in Utah during the 1970’s. It has now developed into a main stream extreme sport and snowboarding will be one of the most watched spectator events during the Vancouver Olympics.
Snowboarding has many different disciplines some of which are not contested during the Winter Olympics. The competition events for the Vancouver Winter Olympics will be half-pipe, snowboard cross as well as the parallel giant slalom, all of which include a men’s and women’s event.
Half Pipe Snowboard – the half-pipe event consists of one snowboarder entering the pipe for his/her run. During the run the competitor must include a number of different acrobatic jumps, twists and tricks on the inside of the half-cylinder shaped snow tube. The judging is based on the riders overall height and style of tricks.
Here is a video from alexpennywise which shows how exciting this discipline is – the action is from the last winter Olympics in Torino in 2006.
Parallel Giant Slalom – the parallel giant slalom has two riders who race down the course at the same time having to navigate through a series gates with the fastest rider advancing to the next round. In all, the top racers will run the course a total of nine times, the ninth run being the Gold medal opportunity.
The video below from canmanski shows parallel giant slalom action from World Snowboard Championships 2007 in Arosa. Action packed for sure.
Snowboard Cross – the snowboard cross event consists of four racers starting in a pack down the course, racing against each other over terrain, off jumps and off ramps. At the conclusion of the heat the top two racers move on to the next round.
It is a crazy event and in the video below from Bazajt you can watch the incredible final from the 2006 Torino final when poor Lindsey Jacobellis crashed out with only 100 metres to the finishing line when she had a commanding lead for the gold medal.
As they say – it ain’t over until the fat lady sings – but whatever the outcome in Vancouver you can be sure there will be plenty of action in the snowboarding event.
The snowboarding venue is located on Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver – there is good access to the venue and plenty of space for the huge crowds that are expected.
The schedule for each event is as follows:
- Men’s snowboard cross – Monday 15th February
- Women’s snowboard cross – Tuesday 16th February
- Men’s halfpipe – Wednesday 17th February
- Women’s halfpipe – Thursday 18th February
- Women’s parallel giant slalom – Friday 26th February
- Men’s parallel giant slalom – Saturday 27th February