Words & photos by Jeff Schmuck
Earlier this week, the one and only Jon Olsson, founder of the legendary Jon Olsson Invitational and Jon Olsson Super Sessions, announced his plans for this season's event in Åre, Sweden on his blog.
After much deliberation and discussion with the athletes, Jon has made the call to take a year off from JOSS, and go back to his roots while further fueling the progression of what is possible in big air by only hosting JOI.
"The events in Åre have always had its main focus on the riders, so when we asked them what they wanted and 9 out of 10 said the same thing it was a pretty easy decision, JOSS will take a one year break and give room for an “all in” Big Air event," says Olsson. "JOI will be back just like in 2007 to give the guys the best possibilities ever to learn new tricks and push the limits to what can be done!"
15 riders will be invited to the Jon Olsson Invitational, with another 15 spots to be determined by a video qualifier, where much like in last year's Team Newschoolers JOSS contest, up and coming skiers will have a chance to make their way to Sweden to participate in the most prestigious event of the year. Stay tuned for more details.
LJ Strenio at JOI 2010.
Following certain judging and format issues at recent big air competitions, Jon has also decided on a new format that he feels will "handle a lot of these issues."
-30 skiers take 2 runs, best one counts, 10 move on. (+ 2 wildcards)
-12 skiers take one run, top 10 advance.
-10 skiers take one run, top 8 advance.
-8 skiers take one run, top 6 advance.
-6 skiers take one run, top 4 advance.
-4 Skiers take two runs, best one counts.
"In this the judges only have to look for the two worst skiers every run, which should make things a lot easier to get it right," says Olsson. "Then in finals you have room to fall once so you can really bust out your best stuff and go for it! You never know before you've tried it, but I am very excited about this format!"
The event will take place in April in Olsson's hometown of Åre, Sweden, which has hosted every JOI and JOSS since the events' inception.
Tuesday, April 12th – Skiers arrive. Training – 4pm - 9pm
Wednesday, April 13th – Training – 4pm - 9pm
Thursday, April 14th – Training – 4pm - 9pm
Friday, April 15th – Nations Cup – 6pm - 9pm
Saturday, April 16th – JOI – 7pm - 9pm
Sunday, April 17th – Red Bull Home Run
Monday, April 18th – Departure day
"It seemed that most guys had been missing the unique possibilities that they had during JOI 2007, where they had one kicker to session for a week enabling them to really progress and figure new things out as we as organizers had more time to perfect one kicker instead of trying to build five of them." says Olsson. "As the ski world always wants new things I thought it was a good year to do this to give JOSS a breather so it could come back fresh again for next year. I think it will be a perfect concept to alternate JOSS and JOI every year to keep it fresh and exciting! Hope you guys like it! I know some will miss the JOSS movies, but don’t worry, JOSS will be back next year bigger than ever!"
Elias Ambühl, Jon Olsson and Andreas Håtveit at JOI 2010.
For more information, check out Jon's blog at http://www.jon-olsson.com.