February 12, 2002

Dude, if you can't beat them, invent your own sport.: The U.S. men sweep the halfpipe snowboarding competition. Team USA has now won 6 medals. (The best finish for the U.S. in the Winter Olympics has been 13 medals.) 4 out of 6 medals are in snowboarding. Gnarly. Here's a look at the sport's humble beginnings in the good ol' U. S. of A.

posted by jacknose to other at 07:43 AM - 9 comments

ESPN has a nice op-ed piece on the event. It's a little goofy -- every competitor seems to look more like a 14-year-old boy than the last one (even the women), and the jargon makes the announcers sound like stoners. However, when Ross Powers started his last run and flew so high he looked like a satellite orbiting the planet, I was converted.

posted by rcade at 07:53 AM on February 12, 2002

Jacknose, stop that. It's not like the US made this sport up in oder to sweep at the olympics. In fact, in 1998, the standings looked like this: Men's Half-Pipe Gold: Gian Simmen Switzerland, 85.2 Silver: Daniel Franck Norway, 82.4 Bronze: Ross Powers United States, 82.1 So now the U.S. kids have improved from one bronze to a clean sweep. And that, as Danny Kass points out, is "totally radical." Anyway Jacknose, I only have one last thing to say to you: USA! USA! USA!

posted by Samsonov14 at 10:48 AM on February 12, 2002

Dude, you're right. And "if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change." (I use this quote whenever possible.) Rocky! Rocky! Er, I mean, USA! USA! USA!

posted by jacknose at 10:58 AM on February 12, 2002

isn't it a little difficult to take the snowboarding competition seriously when the ioc won't allow the snowboarders to get a little baked the night before?

posted by lescour at 11:48 AM on February 12, 2002

Jacknose, it takes a big man to admit he's wrong. If i could just unzip myself and step out and be someody else, I'd wanna be you- you're all heart, Jacknose.

posted by Samsonov14 at 11:50 AM on February 12, 2002

lescour: yeah; before this actually happened a friend had joked that if the US swept the medals it would be because they'd been the only team not randomly tested the night before.

posted by tieguy at 12:05 PM on February 12, 2002

I used to snowboard multiple times a week back in college, and the best snowboarders, worldwide, were all in the Nordic countries. The best, by far, snowboarder alive (easily the Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan of the snow) is Terje Haakonsen (or however you spell it, I'm too lazy to look up the proper number of o's with dots over them). He boycotted the 1998 games because he felt they were a spectacle that wasn't helpful of the sport. Everyone at the 98 olympics knew that Terje would have taken it easily (he had won every world contest he entered that year). I was a bit surprised to see few recognizable names in the finals, the europeans really dominate the sport now. Did they not allow professional snowboarders in this year? Was there a mass boycott by riders? (I haven't read a snowboard magazine in a year, so I wouldn't know this time around).

posted by mathowie at 01:26 PM on February 12, 2002

It's funny -- I, too, found myself thinking how un-Olympic the snowboarders looked, but then realized that the women's gymnasts in the summer games all look like little dolls, and how there really isn't one Olympic look. And maybe that's the point, no?

posted by delfuego at 10:28 PM on February 12, 2002

I'm all for any Olympic sport where an athlete performs better by listening to Limp Biskit through earphones while in action... I'd like to see those pre-pubescent prima donnas try that!

posted by fooljay at 06:49 AM on February 13, 2002

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