I know this topic has been touched upon many times before, but bear with me.
My predictions on how the olympics will affect me and you.
1) The pre-event
Commercials. Interviews. Poptarts. Breakfast Cereal. These are all happening before the olympics. This is going to be most peoples FIRST exposure to the sport. This will draw support and criticism to the sport (Its already happened, check yahoo sports/ youtube)
2) The event
So, slopestyle debuts in sochi. And the sport is seen by the general population. The world watches the premier of this 'Jackass' sport, and now people know what you are talking about when you say you "Freeski".
3) Initial Gaper Wave (1-2 weeks after debut)
Soon after slopestyles debut, little johnny and his 80's era racer dad, tourists, and most recreational skiers will come skiing and see that their local hill has a park. All these people will want to give what they see on tv a try, and flood into the park despite peoples warnings. And this will be a gaper-palloza. Peoples idea of park skiing is based off what they saw on tv, not the required park etiquitte that is required to navigate the park safely and politely. Standing on knuckles/ landings, hitting lips beside rails, the whole 9 yards. (Dont believe me? Remember after the halfpipe debut how crazy the pipe was?)
4) Club/ Team inflation (Next Season)
Well, The people who are serious about carrying on with this sport will pop into google (Area) ski club, and this will bring up a list of organizations that will take your kids and train them to ski park/moguls. Assuming that alot of kids want to try this sport, I predict the regestrations for clubs will go up 70% or higher from the previous year. This is awesome because it will bring up a new generations of park skiers, and feed money to the ski resort which in turn will build better parks and facilities.
4.5) industry benefit (Next season aswell)
People who are serious about learning park will have to buy the required gear. This is bittersweet because much more money will go to big, popular brands (North Face, Solomon, K2) but I personally dont think smaller and less popular brands will recieve the same amount of benefit (ON3P, Icelantic, Blizzard) as the big brands with commercials and major olympic athlete sponsorship.
5) Payout (Conclusion)
This is a crazy thing to happen to skiing. And it will be a crazy ride along the way. But hopefully this leaves the sport in a better place than before. Its going to be a challenge for the positives to outweigh the negatives of the olympics, and alot of negative stuff has already happened. (Wallish denied, Terrorist threats, commentary, ect.) But hopefully the olympics affect me and my local ski area for the better.
1) People begin to be exposed to slope.
2) Slopestyle debut
4) Teams and hills get money
4.5) Ski industry gets money in spots
5) Hopefully it turns out okay