Overview of Freestyle Skiing at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games

With the 2014 Winter Olympics rapidly approaching, it is no question that everyone is looking forward to their favorite events.  Obviously, mine are in the areas of skiing.  While I have never been a freestyle skier per se, I do know how hard those tricks are and how much athleticism, practice and raw talent it takes to do those ski tricks, let alone do them well.

For the freestyle skiing portion of the Olympic Games, there are ten events in all, meaning there are 5 for men and 5 for women.  In total, 30 medals can be earned across these events, which will be within the time frame of from February 6 to February 21.

Greg Limeberry

Mogul Skiing in the Olympics

Moguls are one of these events.  Athletes are judged on speed and accuracy as they fly down the course through the moguls and also on how they hit the two jumps in the course.  There are two rounds- the original round and the final round.

Aerials is another one of these events.  Skiers have two jumps in the original qualifying round and they are judged on their takeoff from the the jump, the form they exhibit in their trick off of the jump and how they land they jump.  In each round, the athletes earn points on each jump, and those with the highest combined points for both jumps are the ones that advance.

The half-pipe is within these five events.  Each competitor has two chances to perform on the half pipe which is 234 meters in length and has walls that 6.8 meters high.  Athletes perform as many tricks as possible, as best they can.  The athletes keep the score for their best run at the pipe and those within the top 12 rankings move onto the final round, in which they can win medals.

Greg Limeberry

Slope Style Olympic Skiing

Slopestyle is an interesting event; somewhat of a simulation of backcountry skiing.  Athletes have two chances to navigate a slope with ledges, jumps, rails and other obstacles as they try to earn points for their skill, technique and speed.  It’s somewhat of a freestyle event, so skiers are allowed to get creative.

Ski Cross is an interesting event in which all skiers ski one qualifying run, and are then divided into groups of fours.  These groups of four race against one another through a course filled with jumps, twists and turns.  The top two skiers of this round move on to compete against one another for medals.

All of these are incredible events that are amazing to watch.  Can’t wait to see this year’s events! To learn more about Olympic freestyle skiing, check out this great article.