Front Range

To Russia, With Love

Meet Colorado’s Olympic hopefuls.

January 2014

Freeskiing, Explained.

In competition, freeskiing includes slopestyle—a course with jumps, rails, and other features—and halfpipe events, though athletes don’t have to compete in both. (In everyday parlance, freeskiing refers to any type of unrestricted skiing, be it terrain parks or backcountry.) “There’s no criteria for how you have to ski the course, no timing or [requirement] to do certain tricks,” says 10-time Winter X Games medalist and 2014 Olympic freeskiing hopeful Simon Dumont. “It’s judged on overall impressions.” Coloradans might be familiar with the sport from the Winter X Games (held annually in Aspen), but every slopestyle course is different. The venue can choose the number and size of jumps and other features as well as the order in which they appear. Here, we offer a peek at the Sochi run for the men’s and women’s ski and snowboard slopestyle competitions.

Snow Bank: Organizers were concerned that snow shortages in Russia might impair the Games, so employees at Rosa Khutor stockpiled 450,000 cubic meters of white stuff under insulated blankets last winter to ensure there’d be enough for all the on-snow events.