In 1993, the Federation Ski International (FIS), the international organizational body for skiing and Olympic skiing voted to recognize snowboarding. FIS therefore organized several events in 1994 and voted to include snowboarding as a discipline in their jurisdiction. Many were opposed to FIS’ control over snowboarding, alleging they didn’t have anything to do with the sport of snowboarding and compared it as if Ice Hockey would manage Curling.The hopes of ISF, the International Snowboarding Federation, to ever manage the Olympic destiny of Snowboarding, were shattered when IOC recognized FIS as the federation governing the discipline of snowboarding. The 1998 Olympic in Nagano introduced Snowboarding halfpipe to the world and FIS were the one leading its qualification system through FIS’ world cup events. To this day, the FIS is the leading organizational body for Olympic snowboarding and is still not fully respected in the world of snowboarding. While ISF ceased operation in 2002, after losing influence and sponsors to FIS, many observers lead by snowboard legend Terje Haakonsen still question FIS’ involvement in snowboarding. As the discipline of slopestyle is about to enter the Olympic, Terje proposed an alternative to FIS’ monopoly :‘’We believe a good solution could be a common Olympic ranking, not sanctioned by FIS or TTR, but a joint ranking list based on results from the best events in the world. By embracing this, the IOC would take a credible position for the youth of the world and take charge in the ongoing action sports revolution. We are willing to talk to find a good solution for the sport. But we are also willing to keep fighting for snowboarding like we have done for over a decade. The Olympic system for snowboarding is wrong; preserving the status quo is not an option’’Shared opinions in the world of Freeskiing emerged lately concerning IOC’s decision to include halfpipe skiing in the 2014 Olympics. Leaders of the sport are questioning the process while others are embracing the decision. Freeskiing, as stated by godfather Mike Douglas, ‘’was created to get away from the political crap, and now, 15 years later, we are right back at it’’. Generally positive about the decision, Douglas puts his trust in the industry and the sport itself to do the right things.AFP, Association of Freeskiing Profesionnals, the only world and official ranking of Freeskiing has now the possibility to assure a fair overall ranking not strictly determined by FIS world cup points. Major events like the X-Games, the Dew tour and such grew the sport to its present status and needs to be recognized in the Olympic process. AFP leaders are confident about their role and objectives, but the question remains, will halfpipe freeskiers only compete in FIS world tour? Will there be a joint ranking? Will AFP be the official ranking? Let’s hope history won’t repeat itself and freeskiers aren’t going to make the same mistake as snowboarders did 17 years ago…By JF DuRocherhttp://bitesizeinc.com/blog/olympic-history/


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