Terje Haakonsen, a living legend of snowboarding who famously boycotted the first Olympic snowboard event now runs the Oakley Arctic Challenge and is speaking up about the IOC’s plan to introduce snowboarding slopestyle at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
The IOC executive board did not approve slopestyle for the Sochi 2014 Olympics at their meeting in Acapulco this week. They say the level of slopestyle riding as of October 2010 is not up to the required standards. IOC will await the development of the sport until the Ski Federation’s (FIS) Snowboard World Championships in 2011. The executive board has handed all powers to President Jacques Rogge to make the decision. Terje Haakonsen invites Jacques Rogge to his slopestyle event http://www.t-a-c.no/ this winter to learn more about snowboarding and slopestyle.
It must not have been easy for IOC to evaluate slopestyle when the Ski Federation (FIS) has only done one contest. All the best slopestyle riders have been following another tour. Slopestyle has been progressing rapidly over many years in TTR’s World Snowboard Tour and is on a world-class level. On a global scale it’s a much bigger format than halfpipe. If you look at the top 10 from the Vancouver halfpipe finals, they are all great slopestyle riders. Slopestyle is the basics of snowboarding, says Haakonsen.
In a recent news story on the Norwegian main TV station NRK, IOC executive board member Gerhard Heiberg opened up for a wider interpretation of the term World Championships. As there is no slopestyle planned at the Ski Federation’s Snowboard World Championships in Molina (Spain), he includes X Games as World Championship level events.
This is a good move and gives the IOC a much better perspective on snowboarding, rather than looking solely at Ski Federation events. I support slopestyle at the Olympics as long as it is done by and for snowboarders. The TTR World Tour is undertaking 150 slopestyle contests every year in a fair ranking system that delivered over 5000 number of slopestyle ranking results last season. In snowboarding, we have developed a progressive judging system and have the best TV productions. Together with the World Snowboard Federation and TTR, we have created the World Snowboarding Championships in Oslo in 2012.
Since the Olympics need snowboarding in their games, why not include the most popular discipline? says Haakonsen.
Terje Haakonsen’s event, The Oakley Arctic Challenge, is also the trial world championships.
I believe the trial World Snowboarding Championships is a good opportunity for the IOC to check out the slopestyle level. I will personally offer Jacques Rogge a guided tour if he accepts our invitation, says Haakonsen.