Freestyle – Extreme Olympic Sports
Freestyle “Free style”, translated from English means “free style” – a relatively young type of skiing, since the 1950s, has managed to gain popularity, and is rightfully included in the program of the Winter Olympic Games. Freestyle disciplines: ski acrobatics, moguls, ski cross, half-pipe, and a very young slopestyle. Also include two non-Olympic disciplines – “New School skiing” and the abolished “ski ballet”. All these types require incredible dexterity, courage and bravado from athletes. After all, they are accompanied by a huge risk to health, and are more than traumatic.
Freestyle began its history as a type of skiing in the mid-twentieth century, since 1971, before which it was known as a “mountain show”, was an entertainment for wealthy aristocrats vacationing in ski resorts.
In 1926, the first specialized author’s book about freestyle, presented only by ski ballet, with the same name, was published. The author is a skier and climber Dr. Fritz Ruel.
1975 the popularity of freestyle grows so much that World Cups begin to be held.
1978 Freestyle enters the Olympic skiing program.
1988 the first Olympic competitions in this type of skiing take place – the venue of the XV Winter Olympics in Calgary.
Classic Freestyle Disciplines
Ski acrobatics. The type of discipline speaks for itself: complex acrobatic stunts are performed on skis. For this purpose, a specially prepared profiled huge springboard is used, which is designed for thousands of spectators to watch the participant. The entire route consists of three main parts: acceleration mountains, freestyle platforms with various types, complexity and size of ski jumps for jumping, and a steep slope for landing.
At competitions only jumps, such as somersaults, screws, free jumps, which are previously declared and approved by many years of practice in the sports world, are performed in advance. Jumps for flight, form and landing are evaluated, the main criterion is complexity.
Mogul – a type of discipline closest to the actual conditions of descent along unequipped mountain slopes. Mogul involves a descent along a dangerous hilly slope, the protrusions of which are called so – moguls. In principle, tracks that are not too carefully looked after have their own moguls, and even whole fields. Often traveled by skiers, they become even more noticeable and cool. For competitions, moguls are prepared in advance. By the way, elements of skiing with a coup d’etat are strictly forbidden in the mogul – this is too dangerous.
The first in freestyle history and the Olympic champion in mogul among men was Franzuz Edgar Grospiron, among women – American D.Wybrecht.
Mogul is present both in the freestyle World Cup program and in the Olympic program. Competitions in single and double mogul are held. Evaluates speed, jumps (the purity of their implementation) and cornering.
Ski cross is a type of race on a specially prepared and equipped ski run, and there is still disagreement on whether this view is related to freestyle or skiing. Skis for this discipline require special ones with well-defined carving geometry, which allows them to develop high speed on corners, and only pros can cope with many models. Competitions in this discipline are held in two stages. The first is called “qualification” and involves the passage of the track for a while. Of those who showed the best results, 32 participants are selected who pass into the second stage – the final. Skiers are divided into quadras, from each quadra two are chosen, who have shown the best results, until there are eight fighting for 1-8 places in the final.
Slopestyle is a type of freestyle in which the skier performs difficult jumps and tricks using ski jumps, complex pyramids, a handrail, a counter-bias. The fantasy of freestyle fans is rampant. This discipline is extremely dangerous, and requires excellent physical preparation of the athlete, because injuries on the track are a frequent occurrence. The beauty of slopestyle is that, following the same track, a skier can choose an obstacle to his taste.
Half-pipe is a ski slope, on a specially constructed structure for competitions in various extreme sports in the form of a concave plane. During the descent, a series of acrobatic tricks are performed. The complexity of the jumps, the height and the purity of their performance are estimated. Competitions in this sport are held in two traditional stages: qualification and final. In qualification, each skier performs two races, the best is counted. According to the qualification result, six or twelve best athletes are selected, who will have the opportunity to compete for first places. Included in the program of the Olympic freestyle games.