Winter X Games snowboarding awards ceremony. Photo courtesy of the Winter X Games and ESPN.
Despite a well-prepared snowboarding task force lead by industry leaders such as Terje Haakonsen, a founder of the Ticket To Ride (TTR) event series and other top snowboarding event veterans, the FIS is sticking by qualification rules that basically smack of the same ill-timed situation for Olympic qualifications for riders in 2010 for Vancouver. And the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced last week in South Korea, that it is accepting the FIS plan for snowboarding qualifications for the halfpipe, and now slopestyle events.
As we’ve written about many times before, the disconnect between snowboarding, which is the most watched Winter Olympic event among our Youth Culture Studies at Label Networks, and the governing bodies that are trying to manage the highly admired sport, can’t seem to understand the conflict in qualification processes and the tightly packed competition schedule that snowboarders have to deal with. Among them, the fact that TTR events, Winter X Games, and the Dew Tour events, all of which attract the world’s top snowboarders, take place near or on similar FIS qualifying event dates.
If TTR events, for example, were allowed to be a part of the qualification for the Olympics, things would be much easier for snowboarders trying to qualify, not to mention, assure that the Olympics truly are getting the best top riders.
It gets complicated, but we think that this story on ESPN.com sums up the issues at hand.
Stay tuned for more as this story continues to unfold.