Watch out snowboarders, the Winter Olympics will bring some four-edged competition to the halfpipe. Olympic Ski Halfpipe makes its spectacular premier at Sochi, and the US stands a great chance at winning both Golds.
What is Ski Halfpipe?
The event takes place on a section of snow-covered hill that is 591 feet long and 66 feet wide. On the sides banked slopes reach vertical near their 23-foot summits. That means the athletes reach heights of over 3 stories! The shape of the terrain is a half circle as if a giant pipe had been pressed into the terrain: hence the descriptive name. While the even is officially Ski Halfpipe, the sport is informally referred to as halfpipe, half-pipe or half pipe skiing.
What are the Rules to Halfpipe Skiing?
If you have watched Snowboarding Halfpipe, you will find this new competition easy to understand and lots of fun to watch. There is both a men’s and women’s competition. In each, skiers launch themselves down the hill and then use their momentum to scale the walls in order to perform tricks. Scores from the judges are based on both the difficulty and execution of the tricks performed. When they launch of the embankments, they do combinations of:
Like the two-edged version, half-pipe skiing is done one-at-a-time. Each athlete is given two runs to perform tricks. The higher of the two becomes their competitive score. The top 12 placements move on the finals where the highest score wins the Gold!
American Halfpipe Skiing
The world leader of half-pipe skiing is the United States. The American Freestyle Skiing Team includes both men’s and women’s halfpipe skiing Winter X Games champions: David Wise and Maddie Bowman. Nor did either win due to any fluke, for each has won the competition in the past as well. The men’s team also includes Aaron Blunck who placed third at the 2012 Youth Olympics. If healthy the world and Winter X Games runner up, Torin Yater-Wallace, will also make a run for the Gold.
When is Ski Halfpipe at Sochi?
When Snowboarding Halfpipe ends on February 12th, you can begin looking forwarded to Men’s Ski Halfpipe on February 18th at 8:45am Eastern Time (ET). Finals follow directly after preliminaries at 12:30pm ET. Women’s’ Ski Halfpipe competition follows the same timing on February 20th. This means that the events are occurring at nighttime in Russia – the best time for the massive tricks so shine under the bright lights.