Freeskiing’s Olympic Debut // Active Times

In addition to racing down icy slopes and through gates in competition for the fastest times, elite skiers will also be boosting high out of the halfpipe, spinning off big jumps, and sliding on rails for their chance to earn an Olympic medal this winter.

With the addition of ski halfpipe and ski slopestyle events, freeskiing will make its Olympic debut at the Sochi Winter Games in Russia this year, although the industry has mixed feelings about the mainstream future of the sport.

“The Olympics need us a lot more than we need them,” said Jeff Schmuck, communications manager for the Association of Freeskiing Professionals. “We are excited about the Olympics and see it as a great opportunity to showcase our sport, but it is by no means the end-all be-all.”

Freeskiing, which was once a rebellious departure from ski racing, has already become widely popular. Even though the counterculture sport has an established professional competition circuit, freeskiing will inevitably gain additional global recognition with its first Olympic appearance and take another step into the mainstream sports market.

Read the full story online at The Active Times.

Click here to see Grete practicing backflips:  Grete Eliassen FreeskiingPhoto  and Video of Grete Eliassen and Kaya Turski (above) courtesy of Red Bull.

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