First Olympic slopestyle training held in Sochi

03 February 2014 16:23
Start and first rail section of the slopestyle course
Start and first rail section of the slopestyle course -
Stefan Cerwenka

First training for the inaugural Olympic slopestyle competition took place under blue bird skies at Rosa Khutro Extreme Park today with the riders slowly adjusting to the massive course build for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

After seeing the course for the first time, a couple of riders were spinning some 7's and 9's but should be able to step it up in tomorrow's second training session.

Especially as some fine tuning will be done to the course.

Assistant Head Judge Brandon Wong (CAN) said: “After action meeting at the bottom of the course with all the riders and coaches revealed that they were all impressed with the set up.

A little tweaking to the course for tomorrow's training  was made, but overall everyone was excited about the course.”

Making adjustments to a slopestyle course or any other snowboard venue such as halfpipe, snowboard cross etc. after a first training session is the normal procedure in snowboard competitions.

Uwe Beier, FIS Snowboard Race Director and Roberto Moresi, FIS Race Director for slopestyle and halfpipe confirmed: “After the first day of training minor adjustments to the shaping of the course are always necessary and this amazing course at the Extreme Park is no exception.”

However, there were also team riders and coaches who asked for no changes to the size of the kickers at all.

“It's what we should be jumping at this level. It's the Olympics,” US rider Sage Kotsenburg is quoted.

Another Gold favourite, who is already out of the contest before it yet began drew a similar line.

Torstein Horgmo from Norway, who was carried of the course with a suspected collar bone fracture after catching a wrong edge on the first rail when doing a hardway backside 270 on thus slamming with the shoulder to the stairs said to Norwegian press: “It's hard but this is part of our sport. It's just bad timing.”

His coach added after the Team Captains meeting that it was an unfortunate crash on 'only' one of the rail features and he [Horgmo] himself would not have asked for any changes to the course.

The second training session will take place tomorrow with the slopestyle qualifiers scheduled for Thursday, Feb 6, 2104, already.