Park City, UT - (July 6, 2011) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced this week the inclusion of ski slopestyle in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games taking place in Sochi, Russia. The Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP), the governing body that for years has established the global ranking of halfpipe and slopestyle skiers, has been a strong proponent in lobbying to have the event included in the Olympics.
“We’re very excited about the addition of ski slopestyle to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games,” said AFP co-founder and media director Christopher Jerard. “We’re looking forward to the qualification process and the chance for freeskiing to have wider recognition on a global stage.”
Photo by Rocky Maloney
The addition of slopestyle, a discipline that scores skiers on the tricks they complete over a course of features, including jumps and rails of varying sizes, signals a move towards grabbing the attention of winter sports’ youth demographic. This news follows the announcement of the nine person US Ski Pipe team just a few weeks ago. U.S. Freeskiing, the newest branch of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, included Winter X Games champion Simon Dumont and his Target teammate, 15-year-old Torin Yater-Wallace.
“I’m thrilled that the IOC is embracing freeskiing in such a big way,” says Dumont. “It’s been incredible to watch the sport evolve so rapidly that not only is halfpipe now an Olympic sport but slopestyle too. It really shows how far we’ve come in such a short time.”
Simon Dumont. Photo by John Vandervalk
"Slopestyle getting into the Olympics is a super cool opportunity for the sport,” said Yater-Wallace upon hearing the news. “I was already excited about halfpipe, but this brings our sport full circle into the mainstream media and the biggest sporting event in the world."
Torin Yater-Wallace. Photo by John Vandervalk
Ski halfpipe’s inclusion was announced three months ago, after the IOC weighed the increased media popularity of snowboard halfpipe since it’s inauguration as an Olympic event in 1998.
Freeskiing is a sport in which international competitors are judged over a season-long circuit of contests for their technicality, execution, style and amplitude. The AFP will continue to provide measurable results and competition structure, as well as global rankings, leading up to the 2014 Olympic Games.
2010-2011 AFP Overall World Champions Gus Kenworthy & Devin Logan. Photo by Dan Brown
The Association of Freeskiing Professionals, founded in 2007 by athletes and industry veterans in conjunction with founding partner Target and founding sponsor Woodward at Copper, is an organization responsible for implementing a balanced global rider ranking system and to serve as a unified voice for athletes and for freeskiing to the world. Made up of top athletes and key influencers within the sport of freeskiing, the AFP (http://afpworldtour.com) is proactive in directing the future of events, judging, growth and evolution of the sport as well as fostering opportunities for emerging riders to climb a clear ladder to higher levels of competition. Additionally, the AFP assists domestic and international promoters and governing bodies to ensure consistent on-hill competition organization and judging.