The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced today that three new events - ski slopestyle, snowboard slopestyle, and snowboard parallel special slalom - will be added to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games sports programme.
The decision was made by the IOC Executive Board and follows the inclusion in April of ski halfpipe (men and women), women’s ski jumping, biathlon mixed relay, figure skating team event and luge team relay.
The announcement is exciting news for Team GB as Britain has medal winning potential in the shape of Bristol based 2009 and 2010 Winter X-Games Snowboard Slopestyle Champion Jenny Jones, who celebrated her 31st birthday on Sunday.
The IOC Executive Board also agreed on a shortlist of eight sports that will be considered for inclusion in the sports programme of the 2020 Olympic Games: baseball, karate, roller sports, softball, sports climbing, squash, wakeboard and wushu. The sports programme for the 2020 Olympic Games will be voted on by the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires in 2013. The programme can include a maximum of 28 sports.
British Olympic Association CEO Andy Hunt said:
“This is really exciting news for Team GB and the Winter Olympics. Having witnessed first-hand the huge interest generated by the high speed action of the ski-cross event in Vancouver last year, I am sure that the race format of the slopestyle and snowboard parallel special slalom events will increase the youth appeal and spectacle of the Olympic Winter Games.
“Following last month’s Team GB recce to Sochi, during which we saw great progress being made towards the construction of the Venues, Villages and Infrastructure for the Games, we will now work with British Ski and Snowboard to engage with the athletes and coaches involved in the new events and ensure they are fully integrated into our planning for a successful Team GB performance at Sochi 2014.”
BOA Head of Winter Sport Engagement Mike Hay added:
“Great Britain has a number of high quality athletes in the slopestyle events in particular and the opportunity for a global superstar such as Jenny Jones to compete for Team GB could bring welcome profile for our winter Olympic sports. The Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in January 2012 will provide an excellent opportunity to test our processes in the snowboard slopestyle event and give some of our younger athletes who aspire to compete in Sochi the opportunity to taste the Olympic environment for the first time.”
Jenny Jones, Three-Times X Games Champion said:
“I think it is exciting that slopestyle has made it into the 2014 Olympics. To potentially represent my country would be an awesome experience and I feel we have a really good team of British riders. The Olympics is a great platform to share the sport with the world and hopefully encourage British snowboarders of the future.”
To find out more about skiing and snowboarding in the UK visitwww.teambss.org.uk