Reno, NV (April 6, 2011) – We Are Snowboarding (WAS) fully supports today’s International Olympic Committee’s executive board decision to conduct further research before slopestyle is included into the 2014 Sochi Olympics Games. WAS sees today’s announcement as a clear indication that the current qualification system has unresolved issues. WAS is an organized group of the best snowboarders in the world. They have joined together to help influence an authentic and fair direction of the sport as it enters larger global platforms.
WAS sent a letter to the IOC two weeks ago in advance of the executive board meeting in London. The letter expressed deep concerns about the qualification system to the Olympics.
“We want ONE tour, and one qualification system, says Chas Guldemond, WAS Founder and one of the top slopestyle riders in the world. “Right now there are too many conflicting dates on the calendar. The consequences of this suggested tour would potentially lead to more injuries, more date conflicts and ultimately place a burden on snowboarding’s progression.”
Currently the IOC qualifies riders to the Olympics through the International Ski Federation (FIS). WAS and it’s members feel that adding a new FIS slopestyle World Cup tour into the already full calendar would lead to more fragmentation in snowboarding.
At today’s press conference, the IOC Sports Director Christophe Dubi expressed an extremely positive attitude about snowboarding in general, but specifically on slopestyle. Dubi said, “this is what the youth are doing every weekend, and that’s why it is so appealing to the IOC.” Dubi said that the FIS are working with various snowboarding contest organizers. The IOC and an FIS team will meet in two weeks with a final decision to be made by early June 2011.
“We support adding slopestyle to the Olympic Games, but with some conditions,” says Guldemond. “We support ‘The Snowboarding 180 Olympic Charter’ stating the need for ONE open Olympic ranking. If that is in place and riders are involved in the decision making process, we are all for it. Snowboarding, just like all other action sports, is organized differently than more traditional sports. If they choose not to listen to the athletes they will meet this same challenge every time they want to add a new action sport.”