by Malinda Mosholder
Stunt Ditch, U-Jump, Trick Taco–the halfpipe is a puzzling contraption to many. (Where do they put it in the summer?!) The Olympic games introduced the halfpipe and snowboarding to the world in 1998, but the majority of Americans still do not view it as an actual sport. More like a novelty, populated with wild and crazy renegade punks who probably skateboard too. Sure, it’s a skewed view, but at least it’s something. Case in point: I told my parents about Freeskiing Halfpipe joining the Olympic fray, to which they responded,
“But don’t they already have ski jumping?”
Oh yes, they said ski jumping. (I disowned them. Sorry Mom and Dad!)
We as freeskiiers have paid our dues, watching our knuckle-dragging brethren/adversaries enjoy a much wider realm of acceptance in the general public–whether it be in the Olympics or countless advertisements. Freeskiing has had virtually zero integration into an everyday person’s life. Our only major platform has been the X-Games, which is spectacular for the athletes and fans, but further inundates the public with the fact that it is an extreme sport, making it difficult for people to view it as reality.
I have personally witnessed freeskiing’s rising popularity amongst the new generations, and after being showcased on the sporting world’s biggest stage, I expect nothing short of universal domination. At least some part of the Vancouver Olympics was viewed by half of the world, which is 3.5 billion people–and in the middle of a switch cork 10 onslaught being unleashed upon Russian soil, the snow-sports pendulum will begin swinging back to skiing. Not just skiing, but freeskiing. The desire to push boundaries, find a passion, and become an innovator will undoubtedly light a fire in many just as it did in me the second I saw Candide Thovex stomp the cleanest mute grab of all time over Chad’s Gap in 1999. Pure magic.
photos by: Park City Mountain Resort