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Winter Olympics Snowboarding

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Olympic Rings Logo

Olympic Rings Logo

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Every snowboarder on the international competitive circuit strives to represent their country in the Winter Olympic Games held every four years. Riders compete in Halfpipe, Giant Parallel Slalom, and Snowboard Cross competitions to take home the gold and become recognized as the best in the world. Snowboarding seemed like more of a hobby than a sport to most spectators when it first appeared in the Olympics, but riders have since become recognized as some of the most elite athletes in the world.

History

The popularity of snowboarding grew rapidly in the 1990s, but it wasn’t until snowboarding’s first appearance in the 1998 Winter Olympics that the public started to view it as a real sport. Giant Slalom and Halfpipe competitions were held for men and women and a new group of athletes were introduced to the world. Huge advancements were made in Nagano, Japan, that year, but snowboarding still had a lot of room to grow.

The 2002 Winter Olympics were held in Salt Lake City, Utah, and snowboarding events were on the roster again. Parallel Giant Slalom replaced Giant Slalom, so competitors now raced in head-to-head battles on two separate courses to determine the racer with the best overall time. The Americans dominated the Men’s Halfpipe competition in 2002 winning all medals, and Olympic riders were becoming household names in the United States and abroad.

Bigger crowds than ever showed up in Turin, Italy, for the snowboarding events in the 2006 Winter Olympics. These games confirmed snowboarding as one of the most popular winter sports in the world. Snowboard Cross made it's Olympic debut. Riders raced simultaneously through a course littered with gates, jumps, banks, spines, moguls and other obstacles. The competition was scored by five judges who rated each rider’s performance on a scale of 1 to 10. One judged amplitude, another judged the quality of rotations, one rated standardized moves, and two scored the overall run. The combination of the high-flying tricks of halfpipe with the competitive spirit of racing made Snowboard Cross a fan favorite.

Snowboarding’s acrobatic maneuvers were taken to new heights by Shaun White at the 2010 Winter Olympics. White shocked the spectators in Vancouver when he stuck two consecutive double corks in the halfpipe competition. He went on to stomp a Double McTwist 1260 on his victory lap, securing his place in snowboarding history. The maneuvers performed at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics showed the world that snowboarders were among the most talented athletes on earth.

FIS and the Winter Olympics

The International Ski Federation (FIS) was founded during the first Winter Olympic Games in 1924 in Chamonix, France. They’re the governing body that determines the rules and technical organization of the Winter Olympic ski and snowboard events as well as over 6,000 international competitions each year. The FIS organization is run by a congress overseeing a number of committees, sub-committees and working groups that ensure every event, especially the Winter Olympics, is performed professionally, ethically, and respectfully.

Winter Olympics Snowboard Events

  • Men’s Giant Parallel Slalom
  • Men’s Halfpipe
  • Men’s Snowboard Cross
  • Women’s Giant Parallel Slalom
  • Women’s Halfpipe
  • Women’s Snowboard Cross

Other Winter Olympic Disciplines:

  • Biathlon
  • Bobsleigh
  • Bobsleigh Skeleton
  • Curling
  • Ice Hockey
  • Luge
  • Figure Skating
  • Short Track Speed Skating
  • Speed Skating
  • Alpine Skiing
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Freestyle Skiing
  • Nordic Combined
  • Ski Jumping

Olympic Snowboarding Medal Winners

1998

Men’s Giant Slalom
Gold: Ross Rebagliati
Silver: Thomas Prugger
Bronze: Ueli Kestenholz

Men’s Halfpipe
Gold: Gian Simmen
Silver: Daniel Franck
Bronze: Ross Powers

Women’s Giant Slalom
Gold: Karine Ruby
Silver: Heidi Maria Renoth
Bronze: Brigitte Koeck

Women’s Halfpipe
Gold: Nicola Thosx
Silver: Stine Brun Kjeldaas
Bronze: Shannon Dunn-Downing

2002

Men’s Giant Parallel Slalom
Gold: Philipp Schoch
Silver: Richard Rikardsson
Bronze: Chris Klug

Men’s Halfpipe
Gold: Ross Powers
Silver: Daniel Kass
Bronze: Jarret Thomas

Women’s Giant Parallel Slalom
Gold: Isabelle Blanc
Silver: Karine Ruby
Bronze: Lidia Trettel

Women’s Halfpipe
Gold: Kelly Clark
Silver: Doriane Vidal
Bronze: Fabienne Reuteler

2006

Men’s Giant Parallel Slalom
Gold: Philipp Schoch
Silver: Simon Schoch
Bronze: Siegfried Grabner

Men’s Halfpipe
Gold: Shaun White
Silver: Daniel Kass
Bronze: Markku Koski

Men’s Snowboard Cross
Gold: Seth Wescott
Silver: Radoslav Zidek
Bronze: Paul-Henri Delerue

Women’s Giant Parallel Slalom
Gold: Daniela Meuli
Silver: Amelie Kober
Bronze: Rosey Fletcher

Women’s Halfpipe
Gold: Hannah Teter
Silver: Gretchen Bleiler
Bronze: Kjersti Buaas

Women’s Snowboard Cross
Gold: Tanja Frieden
Silver: Lindsey Jacobellis
Bronze: Dominique Maltais

2010

Men’s Giant Parallel Slalom
Gold: Jasey Jay Anderson
Silver: Benjamin Karl
Bronze: Mathieu Bozzetto

Men’s Halfpipe
Gold: Shaun White
Silver: Peetu Piiroinen
Bronze: Scott Lago


Men’s Snowboard Cross
Gold: Seth Wescott
Silver: Mike Robertson
Bronze: Tony Ramoin

Women’s Giant Parallel Slalom
Gold: Nicolien Sauerbreij
Silver: Ekaterina Ilyukhina
Bronze: Marion Kreiner

Women’s Halfpipe
Gold: Torah Bright
Silver: Hannah Teter
Bronze: Kelly Clark

Women’s Snowboard Cross
Gold: Maelle Ricker
Silver: Deborah Anthonioz
Bronze: Olivia Nobs

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