Freestyle Skiing in 2014 Olympics: Good or Bad?
If you haven’t already heard, Skiing slopestyle and halfpipe has been admitted into the 2014 Olympics. This will allow for our sport to be showcased to a broader audience but many fear that it may change our beloved sport for the worse.
For those that are against freestyle skiing joining the Olympics, the main fear is that skiing will become another standardized sport with rules and regulations on who is the best and what is considered proper. Many freestyle skiers joined this sport to escape the conformity of ski racing and moguls in order to do their own thing. Freestyle skiing is all about being creative and using the mountain and terrain park in your own unique way. Now that both slopestyle and halfpipe have been admitted into the Olympics, many fear that these events will be judged by someone who doesn’t really understand the sport and creativity will be destroyed. Furthermore, skiers opposed to the Olympics fear the sport will sell-out and athletes will start to ski solely for the money and the publicity, as opposed to simply the love of being outside and doing something outside the norm. I asked my good friend and fellow skier, Jacob Swartz, what he felt about this issue and he was against skiing being in the Olympics as well. He said, ” My main worry is that skiing is going to become another commercialized sport. Skiing has always been sort of underground and that is part of the appeal to it.” Clearly there are some skiers worried about the negative impact that the Olympics will have on freestyle skiing but what about the positive side of things?
Advocates for freestyle skiing joining the Olympics feel that this will do great things for our sport. First of all, it will allow freestyle skiing to be showcased to a broader audience. This added exposure could help create new opportunities for our sport such as greater income and rewards for athletes, more competitions, and other possibilities like new off-slope training facilities. Another good thing that the Olympics will do for freestyle skiing is increase the international participant base. Due to the fact that the Olympics is an international event, the addition of freestyle skiing will create more interest world-wide in our sport. This is a good thing because the bigger playing field will create increased competition which will hopefully result in greater progression of the sport.
Overall, with skiing halfpipe and slopestyle scheduled to be in the 2014 Olympics, the sport is sure to increase in popularity. I just hope that people don’t forget where our sport came from and what the essence of skiing is all about.
How do you feel about skiing halfpipe and slopestyle being admitted into the 2014 Olympics?