Men's and women's snowboarding made their Olympic debuts at Nagano Games in 1998 with Alpine and freestyle competitions. The parallel giant slalom events appeared on the Salt Lake City Olympic program for the first time, replacing the two giant slalom events that were contested in Nagano.
Snowboard in Russia
The first snowboard was brought to Russia in the late 1980’s. In 2010 Ekaterina Ilyukhina from Russia took silver in the Women’s Snowboarding Giant Parallel Slalom at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Snowboard as it is
There are six snowboard events in the program of the Olympic Winter Games: men's half-pipe, women’s half-pipe, men's parallel giant slalom and women’s parallel giant slalom, men's Boarder-cross and women’s Boarder-cross. 6 sets of medal are awarded altogether.
The half-pipe competition takes place in a bowl-shaped course dug deep into the hill. Using speed gained on the slope, snowboarders come up over the rim of the pipe and perform acrobatic aerial tricks. The object of the half-pipe is to perform difficult tricks with perfect form.
The parallel giant slalom features head-to-head matches on the mountain. After the qualification round, a 16-person tournament is established and athletes compete under the knock-out system on two side-by-side courses until there is a winner.
The Boarder-cross event is held on a challenging route including jumps, bumps, berms and other obstacles. The heats consist of four riders who start at the same time, with the best two in the finish proceeding to the next round (where the athlete with the best time in the previous round goes first). Finally, the four fastest snowboarders make the final and compete for medals.
- A specially designed flexible board for half-pipe is essential for balance and tricks.
- The Alpine board is stiff and narrow, which is ideal for turns and high speed.
- The Boarder-cross board is designed to allow high speed, combined with a maximum of tolerance and flexibility to avoid mistakes in the jumps and obstacles.
- Snowboard footwear is usually soft boots, while boots for alpine snowboarding are firmer.
- A hard plastic helmet is compulsory for all snowboard competitors.
Snowboard in Sochi
The X-treme Park “Rosa Khutor” is created to the west of Rosa Khutor Plateau for Olympic snowboarding events in Sochi. Excellent snow cover, together with special courses for Boarder-cross, Parallel Giant Slalom and Half-pipe ensure that this 8,000 seat facility becomes a permanent venue for world-class competitions.
The X-treme Park “Rosa Khutor” was commissioned in 2012 for test competitions.