Snowboard Cross, which is commonly known as Boardercross, became an Olympic sport in 2006.
At the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, France’s Pierre Vaultier took home the gold for the men. Russia’s Nikolay Olyunin took home the silver, and Team USA’s Alex Deibold won bronze. In the women’s competition, Eva Samková from the Czech Republic won gold, while Canada’s Dominique Maltais won silver, and France’s Chloé Trespeuch won bronze.
Male athletes will compete in Snowboard Cross in PyeongChang, South Korea, on Thursday, February 15. Female athletes will hit the slopes in their version of the competition on Friday, February 16.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. What Is Snowboard Cross?
Snowboard cross is a timed snowboarding event that involves waves of competitors simultaneously racing down a course filled with various snowboarding elements, including turns, drops, jumps, berms, and other items. The objective is to finish the course first. The elements are in place to test a boarder’s ability to maneuver through changing terrain while riding as quickly as possible.
Snowboard cross has been an official Olympic event since the 2006 Winter Games in Torino. Other events debuting in Torino include mass start biathlon, team sprint cross country skiing and team pursuit speedskating.
Snowboard cross is one of 10 snowboarding events at the 2018 Games in PyeongChang, including men’s and women’s big air, halfpipe, parallel giant slalom and slopestyle. The halfpipe and slopestyle evetns have already been contested; big air and parallel giant slalom will take place at the beginning of next week.
2. How Is Snowboard Cross Judged & What Are the Rules?
Snowboard Cross is based on an athlete’s time, which means there aren’t judges giving athletes points, which is what happens in many other snowboarding disciplines, including halfpipe.
But whilst there aren’t points awarded, there are judges in place to enforce the sport’s rules. For example, any “intentional contact by pushing, pulling or any other method that causes another competitor to slow down, fall or exit the course is grounds for an automatic disqualification. Unavoidable casual contact may be deemed acceptable. All contact infractions are at the discretion of the course judges and race jury,” according to NBC.
Athletes are also not allowed to intentionally block an opponent who is trying to move past them. Athletes who feel as though they’ve been interfered with are allowed to ask the judges to review footage, but that request “must be made before the next heat starts.”
3. It’s Generally Referred to as Boardercross
Snowboard Cross is Referred to by Multiple Names Outside of the Olympic Winter Games or other events governed by the International Ski Federation, snowboard cross is also referred to as boardercross. The sport’s origins actually lie in extreme sports television in the early 1990s.
“In 1991 Steven Rechtschaffner and Greg Stump created an eight-episode television series about extreme sports. Stump hosted the series, which was called Greg Stump’s World of Extremes. The pair needed a daredevil sport to film for the final episode.
Rechtschaffner had an idea. In a popular sport called motocross, motorcyclists raced on a dirt course …read more