Big Sochi 2014 Test Events
The FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Cup competitions hosted at the Sochi 2014 "Rosa Khutor" Extreme Park concluded on 19th February 2013.
After successful test events in Alpine Skiing and Ski Jumping in 2012, and in Cross-Country and Nordic Combined in early February, it was now the freestylers' and snowboarders’ turn to get a little taste of what things will be like at the 2014 Games.
A total of 700 athletes from 45 countries took part in the massive training and competition programme managed by more than 60 Sochi 2014 Organising Committee representatives who tested all the features and services at the venue in Olympic mode.
Despite the challenging spring-like weather conditions, competitions in seven events of the Olympic programme were staged: moguls, halfpipe, aerials and ski cross in Freestyle Skiing and halfpipe, parallel giant slalom and snowboard cross in Snowboarding. The extremely warm weather and soft snow conditions unfortunately forced the cancellation of the ski and snowboard slopestyle events and the snowboard parallel giant slalom.
The leading countries in these two Olympic disciplines – Austria, Canada, Switzerland and United States – confirmed their strength by winning the highest total number of podium places.
In the FIS Freestyle World Cup ski cross event Kelsey Serwa and Marielle Thompson from Canada took a double win on the future Olympic course while on the men’s side, Sweden’s Victor Oehling Norberg scored his first career victory and the third podium of the season.
Athletes from China were unequalled in the aerial competitions with the ladies' World Cup leader Mengtao Xu and team mate from the men’s side Guangpu Qi winning the competitions.
In the Freestyle halfpipe event, top of the podium was claimed by the Swiss veteran Virginie Faivre who recorded her second podium of the season while Torin Yater-Wallace's (USA) scored his third straight World Cup podium, to maintain his lead in the World Cup halfpipe.
In the finals of the best twelve ladies and men of the fourth FIS Snowboard halfpipe World Cup, 2002 Olympic gold medallist Kelly Clark (USA) and Taku Hiraoka of Japan clinched the victories.
Marion Kreiner (AUT) and Andreas Prommegger (AUT) won the parallel giant slalom event by taking home the third World Cup podium for Austria this season.
Among one of the big surprises was the victory in the ladies snowboard cross competition by 17-year-old Italian Michela Moioli, for whom the Sochi event was only her third World Cup career appearance in the. Alessandro Haemmerle (AUT) currently ranked fifth in the World Cup, took the men’s victory in this event.
For further information, visit fisfreestyle.com and fissnowboard.com