for those in the snow

Sochi slopestyle course causes fear and injury

Norways Torstein Horgmo taken to hospital, Torah Bright raises concerns about slopestyle course but Jossie Wells says it will be amazing.

Australia’s snowboard halfpipe gold medalist, Torah Bright, is competing in slopestyle at the Olympics as one of her record three disciplines and she went on the record this morning as not a hundred percent happy with the slopestyle course at Sochi despite not witnessing it first hand as reported at NineMSN.

“When jumps aren’t built properly and they don’t match up in height, it can be a safety issue,” she said. “As long as the jumps are built fine … we’ll be able to manage it. When we put our lives and our bodies on the line too, you want things built very well and as safe as they could be.”

Ireland’s Seamus O’Connor reported his concerns about the course in this report from Sky Sports.

“The course needs some work,” said O’Connor. “They overbuilt the jumps because they were anticipating that the snow would melt. At the moment the riders are not happy.The rails up top are too close. It’s pretty dangerous at the moment. I think it’s definitely going to be a problem for the women. It’s pretty gnarly for them. We may see some injuries. I hope not, but the whole course is variable as it is. The riders need to speak up about the conditions. The rails can’t be fixed but they can fix the jumps.”

Now Norway’s gold medal snowboard slopestyle hope, Torstein Horgmo, has injured himself in training on the slopestyle course today and has reportedly been taken to hospital according to USA Today. Onboardmag.com is reporting possible collar bone fractures which would see the gold medal favourite out of the Olympics.

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Twitter reports of Torstein Horgmo’s injury during training

So what’s all the fuss you may ask?  Australian skislope style athlete Anna Segal’s coach Victoria Beattie was pumped with the course when she first saw it and posted this pic on instagram that shows the magnitude of the course.

@tora_saurus instagram pic of the slope style course at Sochi

@tora_saurus instagram pic of the slope style course at Sochi

Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy called the course on instagram ‘the biggest jumps I’ve ever seen on a course.’

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Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 10.38.43 PM

And Kiwi legend slopestyle skier Jossi Wells told Snow It All that “The course is fine. Couple of minor changes to the jumps & it’ll be amazing. Don’t believe the anti-hype.”

Transworld Snowboarding posted this pic on their @twsnow account showing how extreme the take off is on the course. But it is in the ‘extreme park’ not the kiddy park and this is the Olympics. 

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Yet still Nick Hope from the BBC posted this pic on his @nickhopebbc twitter account revealing changes being demanded by snowboarders on the ‘extreme’ course.

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Is this a case of pre Olympic jitters for a discipline new to the Olympics and about to hit the seriously mainstream stage? This is the Olympics after all and Russia will want to out do the X Games which to date have been known for providing the best slopestyle platform for athletes to showcase their prowess.

Take a look for yourself, FIS Snowboard World Cup Facebook page posted these images taken by Austrian snowboard coach Stef Cerwenka.

With snowboard slopestyle qualifiers scheduled for Thursday there is little time to make the changes being demanded by some, not all competitors.

Watch this space as we update you as news comes to hand.


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