Friday, February 12, 2010

2010 Winter Olympic Preview - Freestyle Skiing



Freestyle Skiing Preview

Freestyle Skiing is a relatively new sport to the Winter Olympics when it was introduced in 1992. This year there will be a brand new aspect to the freestyle events, which is ski cross. There are three different events for men’s and women’s for a total of six events.



Events

Men’s Aerials
Ladies’ Aerials
Men’s Moguls
Ladies’ Moguls
Men’s Ski Cross
Ladies’ Ski Cross



Overview


Freestyle Skiing is a relatively new sport to the Winter Olympics when it was introduced in 1992. This year there will be a brand new aspect to the freestyle events, which is ski cross. There are three different events for men’s and women’s for a total of six events.

Aerials are the first of the events and it is an event that is based off of technique and you need to be perfect to move onto the finals. Environmental conditions are a huge deal during this race and the speed at which you go down the hill can either make or break your score right from the get go. On the approach down the hill you go over jumps and basically you can do tricks when you go over the jumps. You are judged on your quality of take off, height gained, body position and your landing. The top 16 go to the finals after a prelim where you make two runs. Finals are two runs and the top score in the final round wins.

The moguls is the second event in which the competitors choose between three or four different “lines” they will ski down for their runs. The winner will be the fastest competitor down the hill and do your tricks the best as determined by judges. The catch is that the skiers will run over speed bumps near the top and near the bottom of the hill. The skiers are required to do two different tricks while going over each set of speed bumps and you are scored on your tricks and how you perform them.

Ski cross is the newest of all of the events in freestyle skiing and is pretty simple, first one down the hill wins. It is a mass start, which means you don’t have to wait to start in intervals so it is pretty exciting and competitive. The course pretty much resembles what a snow boarder would go down and the skiers usually run between four or five runs for a minute each so it is a pretty demanding event. The races are run in heats with four skiers in each heat. Top two advances. Works that way until the end.


U.S. Hopefuls

Back in 2006 the United States was supposed to be a strong contender to take home a lot of medals but were only able to grab one Bronze medal. Daron Rahlves and Casey Pucket are to be the two best bets for the U.S. to bring home more than one medal this year.


Predictions

Three Rivers Blog - I feel as if the United States is going to perform pretty well this year and take home more than the one medal that they got back in 2006. However, there are some other good competitors to look out for and that could take home some hardware and give the US a hard time. Anton Kushnir of Belarus and Wu Chao are the other two top performers to look for as China returns after gaining a gold and silver in 2006. With that being said I take the U.S. native Rahlves.

The Steelers n’at -
America invented the X Games so there's no reason why we shouldn't rock this event. My prediction is that with the popularity of the X Games, we will see snowmobile races in the Olympics within the next 20 years.

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