Skills and thrills in Snowboarding

26 February 2014 20:15
The Olympic debut of slopestyle saw some thrilling action and breath-taking tricks
The Olympic debut of slopestyle saw some thrilling action and breath-taking tricks -
GEPA Pictures

With two new events – slopestyle and parallel slalom – added to the Olympic programme in Sochi, there was more snowboarding action than any other Olympic Winter Games in history.

Biggest surprise

The biggest surprise was Victor Wild who dominated the alpine snowboarding events. American by birth, Russian by marriage and by choice, Wild performed a historic sweep of the Olympic parallel giant slalom and slalom events.

Best storylines

German racer Amelie Kober won bronze in the parallel slalom despite fracturing her left elbow in the parallel giant slalom event three days earlier.

Superstar Shaun White was dethroned in the halfpipe event when Russian-born Swiss rider Iouri Podladtchikov earned a well-deserved gold by nailing his best performance involving two head-over-heels flips, two 360-degree turns and 1,440 degrees of spin. Podladtchikov's reaction of pure joy to his epic performance made the crowds go wild.

In addition, Vic Wild’s historic triumph in the parallel giant slalom slalom was all the sweeter as he took home his first gold medal just minutes after his wife Alena Zavarzina won a bronze in PGS. Zavarzina was unable to see his run and had to check with the media before discovering that there was an Olympic champion in her family.

Records

With the newly added Olympic competitions in Sochi, four athletes have become the first-ever Olympic Champions in the history of these events:

  • Snowboard slopestyle - Jamie Anderson (USA), Sage Kotsenburg (USA)
  • Parallel slalom - Julia Dujmovits (AUT), Vic Wild (USA)

It was the first time in history that no U.S. riders were on the podium in the men's halfpipe event which was dominated by Switzerland and Japan.

Moreover, Japan, Czech Republic and Great Britain all claimed their first Olympic Snowboard medals. Japan’s Ayumu Hirano not only won silver in the men’s halfpipe, but also became the youngest snowboarder to win an Olympic medal at just 15 years and 76 days of age. While Hirano’s compatriots Taku Hiraoka took bronze in the halfpipe and his teammate Tomoka Takeuchi claimed silver in the parallel giant slalom, Eva, Samkova (CZE) raced to gold in ladies’ Snowboard cross. Jenny Jones (GBR) took the first bronze medal for the country in the event of slopestyle and in fact GBR’s first ever medal on the snow. 

Best venue moment

When Vic Wild was racing for a medal in the parallel races events, the excited home crowd went wild, roaring as loud as a jet departing. 

Ones to watch for PyeongChang 2018

At his young age, Hiranu as well as Samkova (20) and Ester Ledecka (18) could again be strong forces in four-years-time. 

Medals table Snowboard

 

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total

USA

3

0

2

5

RUS

2

1

1

4

SUI

2

1

0

3

AUT

1

0

1

2

FRA

1

0

1

2

CZE

1

0

0

1

JPN

0

2

1

3

CAN

0

1

1

2

GER

0

1

1

2

SLO

0

1

1

2

AUS

0

1

0

1

FIN

0

1

0

1

NOR

0

1

0

1

GBR

0

0

1

1

   

To vies all medallists, click here http://www.sochi2014.com/en/snowboard-medals