Big air and team SBX proposed for 2018 Olympics

Comments by Jens Heig/

Torstein Horgmo would definitely benefit from Olympic Big Air. Photo: Tim Peare

Torstein Horgmo would definitely benefit from Olympic Big Air. Photo: Tim Peare

Despite all of the controversy that surrounded the addition of slopestyle to Sochi 2014, there is little doubt that the discipline’s inclusion to the games was a great thing for snowboarding. It is vital that the general public has a encompassing understanding of what is included in the sport, and therefore necessary to give big air and team SBX an opportunity for representation at the Olympic Games. The United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) has proposed to the International Ski Federation (FIS) that each event be added to the list of snowboard disciplines for the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics — that’s South Korea, by the way. USSA hopes the success of slopestyle in Sochi will help push the FIS to come to the right decision, which the Snowboard Committee of the organization is already in favor of. Bottom line, each of these events will provide a boost to the viewership of the 2018 Olympics and they need to be included to encourage the growth of snowboarding. Let’s just hope the FIS has the vision to realize that.

Here’s what slopestyle Gold-Medalist Sage Kotsenburg had to say about it:
As we have all seen with the addition of halfpipe into the Olympics, it became a viewer favorite. When slopestyle was added, it was also one of the favorites with the third most streams of the entire games and one of the most watched sports. With big air, it would bring even more snowboarding to the world and, if we do it right it, would benefit snowboarding and the Olympics.

The FIS will be making its decision between now and June 6, here is the formal proposal from USSA to the FIS Congress:
The inclusion of snowboarding has provided FIS and its National Ski and Snowboard Associations with a youth-oriented, innovative platform which has led to exciting new Olympic events, attracted new competitors and inspired new participants, and provided valuable new opportunities for sponsors, organizers, and media partners. It has also delivered high numbers of spectators and TV viewers – particularly at the Olympic Games – and has provided strong exposure to winter sports to a young audience.

Snowboarding defines itself through progression, and FIS has been a leader in establishing the most progressive events in its World Championships and, ultimately, the Olympic Games. This has added to the FIS brand, and established it as an innovative, youth-oriented international federation, which has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee as well as the media in the mission to adapt the Olympic program to be relevant to today’s youth and markets.

Snowboarding continues to progress, with events like big air and team SBX, which have been well- received by athletes, organizers, spectators and media. Team SBX has provided a true national team event, which is lacking in the sport at the Olympic level. And Big Air has been a spectacular centerpiece to the World Championship since 2003.

We respectfully request that FIS continue to foster the progression of snowboarding, and formally request to the International Olympic Committee the inclusion of snowboarding’s most relevant events in terms of youth, media, broadcast, commercial and spectator interest into the Olympic Games.