Ski Cross Debuts at the 2010 Winter Olympics
The new event falls under the sport of freestyle skiing
by Catherine McNiff
Ski cross, until recently reserved for the edgy X Games, is going mainstream and will make its Olympic debut at the 2010 Winter Games.
Inspired by snowboard cross, which was introduced as an Olympic event at the Torino 2006 Games, ski cross pits four skiers against each other in a mad dash down a steep and curving course riddled with obstacles. Ski cross is an every-skier-for-himself kind of race, and with unpredictable weather and snow conditions thrown in (Cypress Mountain is known to fall victim to heavy fog), ski cross is a spectator's delight.
Ski Cross Satisfies Criteria for Inclusion in Games
According to the Olympic Program Commission, a sport or discipline must meet the following criteria in order to be added to the Olympics program:
- offer a high level of international participation (including at least two world and continental championships);
- global public and media interest, strong social value, a commitment to youth and youth development, and a judging system that is transparent and objective.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided that ski cross is an event whose time has come. In addition to meeting all the requirements, ski cross is a sport with momentum "whose appeal to the youth has grown tremendously over the last year," said the IOC's executive board.