Here we are again, another quadrennial and another Winter Olympics is on our doorstep… and as far as snowboarding goes, this could be the best Olympics yet… for our Aussie and Kiwi snowboarder’s for sure! We’ve got by far our strongest team of athletes heading to the games, with some heavy podium potentials.
There’s some key events to tune into, leading into the games kicking off 5 February – US Grand Prix Mammoth Mountain — January 6-8, Laax Open Jan 11–15 and X-Games — January 21–23. Click here for a run down on how to watch, who to watch and all other details surrounding the events.
Qualifiers: 9th of Feb @ 3:30pm AEST
Finals: 11th of Feb @ 12:30pm AEST
Say what you want, this is still the marquee event for snowboarding at the Olympics. We can’t wait to see Scotty James get his first Olympic Gold and first Gold for Australian men’s Halfpipe ever!
Unless, that is if the 16 year old, Valentino Guseli, comes in and blows the entire world away. Which he is currently doing, taking out 6th spot at the Dew Tour pipe event. And trust us, he has it in his arsenal. This will be Val’s first ever Olympic experience. Still, we can see he is ready from watching him intently over the last couple seasons. If he finds his way to the top-notch, it might shock the world, but not us.
This will be one of the tightest and most packed fields in Halfpipe Olympic history. Can Shaun White do it again and get another gold to add to what we can only assume now is less a trophy cabinet and more a wing of his house? He’s won gold in 2006, 2010 and 2018. An incredible achievement if he makes it 4…Having just announced that the recent Dew Tour was his last one ever.
The podium could seriously just end up as an all Japanese affair also. With talent like Ayumu Hirano, Yuto Totsuka, Raibu Katayama and Ruka Hirano it’s really not fair at times. Ayumu recently made history, putting down the first ever triple in the pipe in competition. Setting the bar for what we can expect to see in Beijing.
Another one to watch for could be Taylor Gold as well. After landing an amazing run in the recent Dew Tour Finals and landing in third place, he will be riding with a bit of confidence heading in.
Qualifiers: 5th of Feb @ 1:45pm AEST
Finals: 6th of Feb @ 12:30pm AEST
Women’s Slopestyle is the first event to give any care about, and with this field, lots will be given! This field is going to be STACKED!
Tess’ 2018 Olympic venture ended in pain when she tore her ACL in practice. When the riders were forced to ride in bullshit conditions, that saw 9 of 52 women land their runs in the final!?!
But that was 4 years ago. Tess is now one of the top dogs in Women’s Slopestyle and has been pushing herself to incredible levels of riding in that time.
If you haven’t been paying attention to Zoi Sadowski-Synnott’s career, then you should pay more attention. Because this she is on one. Zoi finished 13th in the 2018 Olympic Slopestyle and, like Tess, has been going from strength to strength ever since. Recently winning gold at the Copper Mountain Dew Tour this season.
We hope to see both of our Trans-Tasman Queens on the podium when the dust settles, but who will join them? A safe bet would have to be on Jamie Anderson for sure, hard to go past one of the G.O.A.T.’s and the reigning Slopestyle gold medalist. But keep your eye on Hailey Langland, Anna Gasser, Laurie Blouin, Miyabi Onitsuka and Kokomo Murase as well.
Qualifiers: 6th of Feb @ 3:30pm AEST
Final: 7th of Feb @ 3:00pm AEST
Okay, deep breath… Here we go. Where to start? Let’s kick it off with Red Gerard coming to defend his 2018 Gold? Recently winning the Dew Tour Slope event. Now he can legally drink in his homeland. So surely he’ll want to bring the hardware home to party his ass off, right?
Or maybe those Canadian lads will come out swinging, Mark McMorris has been riding a purple high through Natural Selection, and onward, he has been on a tear. Or maybe the 2018 Silver medalist Max Parrot will knock Red off that #1 spot and claim his first Olympic Gold. Or Seb Toutant could push his way into the convo… there are just too many Canucks to talk about.
We could always talk about Euro’s like Ståle Sandbech, Marcus Kleveland, Sebbe De Buck and Rene Rinnekangas. We could say any one of these men could be a dark horse in this event, but really, if any of those guys are standing on the top step at the end, no one will be surprised.
Matty Cox is representing Australia and is looking solid on his board so far this competitive season. He’s looking to put down a run he’s been putting a lot of hard work into.
Oh, and don’t forget the Japanese riders like Yuri Okubo and Hiroaki Kunitake… anyway, you get the point we are making. Our cup runneth over with talent, and it’s going to be an absolute pleasure to watch.
Qualifiers: 9th of Feb @ 12:30pm AEST
Finals: 10th of Feb @ 12:30pm AEST
Lunchtime on Wednesday the 9th of Feb kicks off a huge few days of what most people think of when they think of snowboarding at the Olympics, Halfpipe. Emily Arthur will be repping for the Aussie women in the pipe as she did in 2018, where she finished 11th overall and will be gunning for a spot on the podium.
But it will be tough, Cai Xuetong is coming off a massive victory at Copper to start the World Cup season, along with the other women she shared the podium with that day; Sena Tomita and Queralt Castellet. So it’s not going to be a stroll in the park.
Then there is still 2018 Gold medalist Chloe Kim who just won the Dew Tour pipe event. Like Xuetong, Liu Jiayu will also be hoping for a home podium in what will be the last Winter Olympics to be held in China for a while.
Mens Big Air
Qualifiers: 14th of Feb @ 4:30pm AEST
Finals: 15th of Feb @ 4:00pm AEST
You know, it sucks that the final day of snowboard action falls on a Tuesday, but part of reading this with plenty of time up your sleeve means you have no excuse to not take the day off work, grab a slab or whatever viewing enhancers you are into and enjoy the last day of the games.
Su Yiming won the Big Air at Steamboat and became the first Chinese competitor to do so, but will that build too much pressure on the young lad in his homeland?
We will be not so quietly cheering on Kiwi Tiarn Collins, and Aussie Matty Cox who have both been riding strong this competitive season so far. It would be cool as shit to see them make their way up the standings.
Japanese rider Taiga Hasegawa has all four 1800’s on lock. He blew up earlier in the season, and is looking to make his mark these games.
But this field, like every other one in the Games, is chockers full. Basically, all the guys we mentioned earlier—just copy and paste them into this section. Mark McMorris, De Buck, Kleveland, Toots, Red, Kyle Mack, Ståle… I’m sure you all got the point by now.
Womens Big Air
Qualifiers: 14th of Feb @ 12:30am AEST
Finals: 15th of Feb @ 12:30pm AEST
Next up is the jaw dropper, Big Air! Which will be interesting after having sat through the Pipe and Slopestyle, Big Air will feel like a silky nightcap to finish off our Olympic viewing voyage.
So keen to watch Zoi have another crack at the podium and see if she can better herself than the Bronze she won in 2018 (2nd ever medal in NZ Winter Olympic history). She’s going to add to that tally 100%.
Japans Reira Iwabuchi won the one and only Big Air qualifiers at Steamboat at the start of December and will be looking to back it up.
But the same can be said for Anna Gasser and Annika Morgan, who finished 2nd and 3rd at the Steamboat event. Anna is a force to be reckoned with and has the strongest and most consistent bag of tricks. When the stars align, she’s unbeatable.
Canadian Laurie Blouin will be looking to take out the gold these games, as she already has a silver Olympic medal from back in 2018.
Womens Snowboarder Cross
• Seeding Run’s: 9th of Feb @ 1:00pm AEST
• Finals: 9th of Feb @ 5:30pm AEST
Ah Boardercross, the too often over looked snowboard event at the Olympics, but it is an event we should pay just as much attention to. Especially since the Aussie contingency of riders are some of the worlds very best! It’s a battle of the boards.
Belle Brockhoff will be our representative in the Women’s side of the comp. Belle finished 10th in the 2018 Olympics. But lately has been on a tear with back-to-back podiums in the FIS World Cup events in Montafon and Cervinia, don’t be surprised to see her with some fresh hardware come February.
Mens Snowboarder Cross
• Seeding Run’s: 10th of Feb @ 2:15pm AEST
• Finals: 10th of Feb @ 5:00pm AEST
One of the deepest fields in terms of Aussie riders is definitely the Mens Boardercross. Cameron Bolton, Adam Lambert, Adam Dickson and 2018 Silver medalist and world champion Jarryd Hughes will aim to come out and go one better than Jarryd’s 2018 campaign.
Currently all four riders are ranked inside the top 30 for the FIS World Cup Season, showing good form headed into Beijing.
The Aussies are some of the speediest riders getting around, and all eyes on set on a green and gold podium.
So there you have it, the dates, the athletes, the events. Now just book some time off and come Feb, sit back and enjoy. Only comes around once every four years, so soak it in.
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