It seems there's a lot of controversy and misunderstanding about our brand of skiing being included in the Olympics. Last I've heard, there might be an exhibition in 2010. Now let's have a reasonably intelligent discussion about why skiing should, and should not, have an Olympic halfpipe competition.
First things first, it takes a long time for a sport to become recognized as one popular enough to be included in the Olympic Games. There's a lot of whining in another thread about sports like curling being Olympic when halfpipe is not, but you have to understand that park and pipe skiing is still very, very young. In addition to being very, very young, it's still almost totally unknown. The X Games is probably the single biggest media outlet for us, but to the American public who watched, for example, the live broadcast of the X Games pipe during SportsCenter last season, what they were watching was something of a sideshow. It's a sport people don't recognize and don't understand, and it will take time for that to happen.
Anyway, why SHOULD halfpipe skiing be in the Olympics? It will give our sport a legitimacy that it doesn't yet have. It will draw more interest, more supporters, more participants, more media, and more money into the sport. In many ways it may make us more "mainstream" - but remember, there are different categories of mainstream. Skateboarding is mainstream, but not in the same stream as football. They've got entirely different watersheds.
Why shouldn't halfpipe skiing be in the Olympics? Maybe all that money and attention is something we don't want. And with the anti-doping regulations, several of skiing's biggest stars may not be able to compete- although I'd bet that almost anyone would be willing to give up pot for a year in exchange for an Olympic medal. The main problem, seemingly, is that the comp would be organized through FIS, meaning that they'd have no clue what they were doing unless some serious changes took place or a new, freeskiing specific organization--like the IFSA--took control.
Let's hear your opinions. Obviously everyone is allowed to express their point of view openly, but I've arranged with the mods to have blatantly useless post deleted.