The 2014 Olympics were the beginning of a new era when both halfpipe and slopestyle were added to the existing Freestyle Skiing events. Team USA swept the Men’s Slopestyle podium, when Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper won Gold, Silver, and Bronze, respectively. For a full recap of everything 2014 Winter Olympics, go here.
The 2014 Slopestyle Podium
After previously losing bids to both Vancouver, Canada in 2010 and Sochi, Russia in 2014, the XXII Olympic Games take the stage in Pyeonchang, South Korea beginning on February 9th, 2018. Pyeongchang is located in the Gangwon Province and is about two hours and 170km (110 mi) west of South Korea’s capital, Seoul. It is within the region of the Taebaek Mountains, making it a prime candidate for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games.
Bokwang Pheonix Park Ski Center is of the premier ski destinations in Korea and will host a portion of the Pyeongchang Olympics snowsport events. These events include ski slopestyle, ski halfpipe, and respective snowboarding events. The center has seventeen runs- four which have been approved by FIS- and the longest being 2.2km (1.4 mi) in length.
In The Coterie’s Fall 2015 film “We Trust Your Judgement”, Jonah Williams, Mitchell Brower, Lupe Haggearty, and the rest of the crew took on the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Venue at Pheonix Park:
The Freeski Korea segment begins at 7:30
Joss Christensen, Mcrae Williams, and Gus Kenworthy, have been topping the rankings for Team USA in slopestyle, but with over a year separating us between the games anything could still happen. Other favorites include Swiss’ Andri Ragettli and Fabian Bosch, Norway’s Oystein Braaten, James Woods out of Great Britain, and Canada’s Evan McEachran. In Women’s slopestyle we should be watching out for not only young-gun Kelly Sildaru, but also veteran riders such as Emma Dahlström, Tiril Sjaastad Christiansen, Devin Logan, Yuki Tsubota, Giulia Tanno, and Maggie Voisin.
On the halfpipe side of things, Alex Ferreira, Aaron Blunck, Kevin Rolland, Lyman Currier, Gus Kenworthy, Byron Wells, Benoit Valentin are all riders to watch out for in Pyeongchang. Keep your eye on Team USA and France to see who will top the rankings. The United States are also dominating the women’s halfpipe pool with riders such as Maddie Bowman, Devin Logan, Annalisa Drew, and Brita Sigourney. Other top riders include Ayana Onozuka, Cassie Sharpe, Janina Kuzma and Marie Martinod.
During the FIS 2015-16 World Cup (#fuckFIS), an official test stop took place at Bokwang Pheonix Park. If the Olympic Course is as innovative as the World Cup build was, creativity and style may play a large factor in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Alex Bellemare, Henrik Harlaut, and Jossi Wells took the top three spots, respectively- so whether or not that gives that a spot on the podium, we’ll have to see.
The Olympic Committee looks forward to three consecutive games in Asia, after high-waters in both Sochi and Rio. Bejing and Tokyo will follow South Korea. Pyeongchang is optimistic about new infrastructure surrounding the event, which includes six new competition venues and a new high-speed rail line. Nonetheless, we can look forward to safe and stable Winter Olympic games in the years to come.