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Slopestyle endorsed for 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Jenny Jones in action at the X Games
Jenny Jones in action at the 2010 X Games

Ski half-pipe and snowboard slopestyle could make their debuts as Winter Olympic sports at the 2014 Sochi Games.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) has requested the International Olympic Committee include the sports, as well as an alpine skiing team event.

FIS also asked the IOC for the second time to add women's ski jumping after the event was controversially omitted from this year's Games in Vancouver.

The IOC's executive board is set to make its decision by the end of 2010.

FIS says freestyle half-pipe and slopestyle , where riders head down a course which includes rails, kickers and jumps, is "very youth-driven and will appeal to future generations".

The IOC has already recognised this and included both events in the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games , which are being held in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012.

If the events are given the go-ahead it would be good news for Britain as Bristol's Jenny Jones is a double X Games gold medallist in slopestyle.

And teenager Jamie Nicholls , from Yorkshire, is a regular top-10 finisher in world-class competitions.

Stuart Brass, of the British Snowboarding Association, told BBC Sport: "If snowboard slopestyle is accepted as an Olympic discipline, we'd have fantastic medal hopes from the UK with the likes of Jenny Jones who is already ranked as the best slopestyle rider in the world.

"And in less than four years' time we'd have a whole host of young talent including Jamie Nicholls who is already achieving top 10 results at the age of just 16.

"Slopestyle is a discipline which can be practiced, particularly the rail and obstacle elements, at any of the UK slopes and as such we have these training facilities all year round regardless of weather."

Britain has never won a Winter Olympic medal in a "snow sport" as all the previous medals have come from ice sports including skeleton, curling, bobsleigh, ice skating and ice hockey.

Women's ski jumping , endorsed by FIS, was refused inclusion by the IOC into the 2010 programme and the athletes took it to the British Columbia Supreme Court to argue Vancouver Organising Committee (Vanoc) was violating Canadian law by not inviting them to the Games.

They lost the case but will be hoping it will be added when the Games are held in Russia in four years' time.



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see also
Jones wins second boarding gold
12 Mar 10 |  Winter Sports
Women fail in ski jump appeal
22 Dec 09 |  Vancouver 2010


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