Today, at Russia’s Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort, athletes had their first crack at the Olympic slopestyle course. After much speculation as to its size, given concerns about snow totals, the results are in: the course is “massive.” A wave of social media reports this afternoon suggest the course is being very well received.
“First day of riding the Olympic slope course was nice!” shared Joss Christensen via Twitter. “Course is hugeeee,” he added.
“Well, the Olympics built the biggest and craziest slope course ever built… Bravo!” exclaimed Jossi Wells, also on Twitter.
Canadians Kim Lamarre and Kaya Turski spin through the Olympic slope course
On his blog, our 2013 Skier of the Year, Henrik Harlaut, wrote, “The whole course was really sick, huge jumps and some nice rails. Definitely got the mind going for what run I wanna work towards so now I just gotta play it smart and think before I make my move like in a game of chess.”
Harlaut also shared on Instagram, “First official practice at the zighhlympics course was ILLMATIC!!!”
And speaking to the spectacle of it all, Kim Lamarre notes, “Still feels unreal to see the Olympic rings on a slopestyle feature!”
Keri Herman shares a shot of Henrik Harlaut
While the resounding impression seems to be one of awe and approval, ESPN Snowboarding reports today that “athletes had expressed concern about the steep jumps… even before the official practice began Monday.” The statement comes along with the news that 26-year-old Norwegian snowboard star, Torstein Horgmo, suffered a fractured clavicle amid this afternoon’s training session.
In this same article, FIS official Roberto Moresi, assistant snowboard race director at Sochi, is quoted as saying, “Organizers had responded to feedback from the athletes and were trimming the tops and bottoms of some jumps at the top of the course, in order to make it more smooth.” Moresi also explained the course was not a factor in Horgmo’s spill. Rather, he cites the difficult nature of Horgmo’s attempted stunt onto one of the rails near the top of the course.
Despite this one incident, the widespread support shown by the skiers suggests one key takeaway: the slopestyle competition is sure to please. Freeskier will be traveling to Sochi later this week; stay tuned for continued coverage of freeskiing’s Olympic debut.