The Olympic Effect

It wasn’t very long ago that a freeskiing World Cup was a non-event on the professional calendar. But with Olympic qualification currently under way for both halfpipe and slopestyle, the landscape of the freeski competi- tion is changing.

Over the next two winters, leading up to the Sochi 2014 Games, World Cup competitions will take place in North America, Europe and New Zealand. In the past, these events wouldn’t have made it onto the competition calendars of most of the top athletes.

“It’s all fitting into the calendar really well,” said Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) judge Steele Spence. “One of the first things that I notice about the landscape of freeskiing with the addition of the World Cups is there is a more international draw to them. A lot of international federations are seeing it. They get it now that it’s an Olympic sport. Many more nations are bringing teams to all these events.”

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