Ski Slopestyle Event Added to 2011 World Freestyle Champs
The fast-paced action sport of slopestyle skiing has been added to the 2011 International Ski Federation's (FIS) Freestyle World Ski Championships being hosted this February by Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resorts in Utah. The slopestyle event, which is one of three new action sports (ski halfpipe, snowboard slopestyle) events being considered for inclusion in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, will be held at Park City Mountain Resort.
FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships organizers confirmed that slopestyle would be added to the schedule on Thursday, Feb. 3, with qualification runs taking place a day earlier. The event will be held on Park City Mountain Resort's King's Crown run, home of one of the resort's popular terrain parks. Park City Mountain Resort is also the site of the halfpipe competition, while moguls, dual moguls, aerials and ski cross will be held at Deer Valley Resort.
Slopestyle tests a skier's skill through a variety of terrain. Slopestyle courses feature rails, jibs, hips and a variety of jumps allowing skiers to combine big air and technical tricks into one run. Competitors are scored in an overall impression judging format on amplitude, execution, difficulty of line, landing and use of the course.
Slopestyle skiing, as well as halfpipe skiing, and slopestyle snowboarding, was given support for 2014 inclusion by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its Executive Committee meeting in September. The final approval for these action sports to make it onto the Sochi, Russia Olympic schedule will come following a review of the new sports taking place during World Championship competitions this season. IOC President Jacques Rogge is empowered to make the final call.
In November, the FIS Council voted to add slopestyle skiing and snowboarding to the respective World Championships beginning this season. Organizers for the FIS Snowboard World Championships in La Molina, Spain recently confirmed adding slopestyle snowboarding to the schedule.
Park City Mountain Resort has been a leader in winter action sports since the 2002 Winter Games. The Resort has successfully hosted a number of international caliber halfpipe events as well as received numerous awards for the terrain parks built at the resort. The Resort has continued to push the limits of winter action sports and is considered a training ground for some of the industry’s best freestyle skiers.
"The IOC has shown great foresight in aggressively pursuing inclusion of halfpipe skiing, plus slopestyle skiing and snowboarding, for the 2014 Games," said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Bill Marolt, who is also on the FIS Council. "Terrain parks around the world are home for millions of young skiers who are already actively engaged in the sport and it's fitting that it should be included in the Olympic Winter Games."
"With the rapid development of terrain parks, slopestyle has become a major skiing phenomenon globally," said FIS Freestyle Coordinator Joseph Fitzgerald. "Slopestyle as a FIS event, is a competitive expression of the grassroots level activity already underway. The inclusion of slopestyle in the program of the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships, coming right on the heels of the highly successful slopestyle competitions at the FIS Freestyle Junior World Ski Championships in New Zealand this past August, is the perfect timing for formalizing this popular event format at the highest FIS level."
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) is expected to name up to four men and four women to compete in the slopestyle event with spots expected to be hotly contested. Qualifying will be primarily based on the Association of Freeride Professionals (AFP) ranking system which includes events such as the USSA's Revolution Tour as well as the Dew Tour and X Games.
Deer Valley was also the host for the 2003 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships. Both Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort were venues for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
The World Championships will be televised on NBC Saturday, Feb. 5 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. ET and Sunday, Feb. 6 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET.
Image: Nate Abbott/Shazamm/ESPN Images
2011 FIS FREESTYLE WORLD SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS
Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort
Wednesday, Feb. 2
Moguls Qualifications/Finals (Deer Valley – Champion)
Slopestyle Qualifications (Park City – King's Crown Terrain Park)
Opening Ceremony (Park City – Lower Main Street)
Thursday, Feb. 3
Slopestyle Finals (Park City – King's Crown Terrain Park)
Skicross Qualifications (Deer Valley – Solid Muldoon)
Aerials Qualifications (Deer Valley – White Owl)
Friday, Feb. 4
Halfpipe Qualifications (Park City – Eagle Superpipe)
Skicross Finals (Deer Valley – Solid Muldoon)
Aerials Finals (Deer Valley – White Owl)
Saturday, Feb. 5
Halfpipe ,Finals (Park City – Eagle Superpipe)
Dual Moguls Qualifications/Finals (Deer Valley – Champion)
Closing Ceremony (Deer Valley)