Riders And Industry React To Big Air Being Included In The Olympics

Yuki Kadono sends the Big Air jump at Air and Style LA. Photo: Nick Hamilton

Yuki Kadono sends the Big Air jump at Air & Style LA. Photo: Nick Hamilton

After it was announced yesterday that Big Air Snowboarding will be included in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, many riders and industry insiders have taken to their social feeds to voice their opinions about it all.

 US Snowboarding has supported Big Air’s inclusion as an Olympic Sport since 2014, and the new event now gives female riders the chance to compete in a field that has historically been male-dominated.

Check out the top social posts from Spencer O’Brien, Sage Kotsenburg, Todd Richards, and read on for a short Q&A with Oliver Kraus, FIS Snowboarding PR Director, for details on why Big Air was chosen, qualifiers, jump specs, and more.

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Interview with Oliver Kraus, Snowboarding PR Director, FIS

Why was snowboarding chosen to be included in Big Air, but skiing was not?

Actually this is a question the IOC should answer, but I guess that it’s due to the fact that there hasn’t been any competition yet on World Cup or World Champs level. In contrary, Big Air has a long tradition in the Snowboard World Cup with the first world champs event dating back to 2003. Plus, 2015 featured the first World Cup and World Champs comps for ladies, too.

What will the qualifying process be like?

Similar to all other disciplines, however, details like quota etc. still have to be determined.

Will the jump be the same size at all qualifying events?

Although jump sizes may differ from stop to stop we will have a jump at the Olympics which reflects the state of the art in performances, whilst the jump will also work for the ladies. Role model could be Istanbul, although this jump has been adjusted already. So it might be a bit bigger.

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