Big Air set to launch PyeongChang 2018 test event programme
Excitement is building in PyeongChang ahead of the first Hello PyeongChang event this winter – the Snowboard World Cup Big Air competition, which will take place this week in preparation for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2018.
The latest leg of the FIS Snowboard World Cup takes place on 25-26 November and will serve as the first of 24 events designed to allow organisers to test venues and operations ahead of the Games, as well as give athletes the chance to experience PyeongChang and the competition set-up.
The event is being held at the Alpensia Ski Jump and will see athletes and spectators converge at a newly built temporary snow-covered ramp. The 2018 Olympic Winter Games will see Big Air make its Olympic debut, with both men’s and women’s events on the programme.
Big Air is well established on the winter sports programme having featured in the FIS World Championships since 2003, and the test event plays host to a highly competitive line-up of athletes. A total of 56 male and 39 female athletes are competing from 23 nations including 20 each from Canada and the United States.
The Canadian men’s team includes Mark McMorris, Max Parrot and Sebastien Toutant. McMorris is an X-Games multi-gold medallist who finished in second place at this year’s X-Games in Aspen behind compatriot Parrot. Toutant jumped his way into first place in Air and Style in Innsbruck this year and was third in the 2016 World Championships of Snowboarding.
Minsik Lee of the Republic of Korea, and Yuki Kadono of Japan, are also taking part. Lee, 16, finished fourth at the Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games 2016 and took top spot at the Korea Nation Cup this year. Kadono arrives in top form after finishing in first place in the Oslo X-Games and Air and Style in Los Angeles.
American Jamie Anderson is the star of the female athletes. A gold medallist in Sochi 2014, in the women’s slopestyle, the 26-year-old also ranked in first place in the overall standing in freestyle during the 2015/16 season and has five FIS victories to her name. Fellow American Karly Shorr, aged 22, is another snowboarder tipped for success. She finished second in the women’s slopestyle at the 2016 FIS Snowboard World Cup held in Bokwang, another of PyeongChang 2018’s Olympic venues, in February this year.
This is a wonderful opportunity for the athletes and officials to experience the competition venue and PyeongChang ahead of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.Lee Hee-beom President & CEO of PyeongChang 2018
Lee Hee-beom, President & CEO of PyeongChang 2018, said: “We are delighted to welcome the athletes here to PyeongChang for the FIS Snowboard World Cup.”
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the athletes and officials to experience the competition venue and PyeongChang ahead of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. We aim to use this week as important learning experience and to ensure we deliver the best competition for everyone involved next year. We wish all those competing the very best of luck and hope they enjoy their time with us in PyeongChang.”
Following the snowboard Big Air, the next test event is the ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup, which takes place on 16-18 December in Gangneung, which will be hosting all of the ice sports during PyeongChang 2018.