Olympic medical department singles out snowboard slopestyle as too dangerous


Did you find Jamie Nicholls’ sixth place ‘too exciting?’ Photo: Nick Atkins/Scene Images

Breaking news, or it is if the Olympics are still on your mind (pffft, old hat now right?); Lars Engebretsen, head of scientific studies for the International Olympic Committee has gone on record to say he’s recommending that snowboard slopestyle should be dropped from future Olympics unless actions are taken to lessen ‘unacceptably high’ injury risks for competitors.

Just as significant parts of the snowboard community are coming to terms with FIS running this part of the show, it seems there’s a (slim, after all cycnics might say that viewing figures speak louder than reports) chance that slopestyle might be dropped from future ‘Lympics. Just as we’ve finally agreed to go all the way after our prom-night date, after one quick fumble in the back of a car they’re considering ditching us already.

Just as we’ve finally agreed to go all the way after our prom-night date, after one quick fumble in the back of a car they’re considering ditching us already.

Their ‘study’ takes into account injuries picked up in FIS qualifying and practice sessions, and although statistically elite-level halfpipe skiing has seen many more injuries this season it’s still the snowboarders being targeted. Funny that.

Despite an awesome pair of slopestyle finals, inevitably the mainstream press can’t let go of the whole ‘extreme’ tag that snowboarding has. Someone literally died in the warm up sessions on the luge track in Vancouver 2010, but we still saw that event return in Sochi.

We’re not saying that luge should be taken out of the program, just that any sport where the participants voluntarily put themselves at risk in a controlled environment should probably be left alone.

The Olympics this year were actually a perfect example of how safe slopestyle actually is; those jumps were huge but even the worst slams had positive outcomes as they were actually shaped well. A better use of time would be to ensure that all slope course are built to a high and safe standard.

Slopestyle was one of the most popular events in Sochi. Photo: Nick Atkins/Scene Images

Again, it’s unlikely that slope will actually be dropped, it was one of the most popular events on show in Russia after all, but at the least this latest bit of news comes with some pretty hilarious old-school style FIS quotes:

I can say what I feel: That sport should change, otherwise we shouldn’t have it… Something has to be done with that sport.” Brilliant.

Slopestyle is exciting,” said Engebretsen to the Associated Press in Monaco, “But it’s just become, right now anyway, too exciting.

Lars Engebretsen. Slopestyle is apparently ‘too exciting’ for his liking.

Slopestyle too fun for the FIS? No one saw that coming…


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