Events to Look Out for
Covid has definitely put a hamper on things in terms of Snowsports Industry public events and competitions that normally take place in the winter time. In this post, I will list some of the more famous events on the international stage and what to expect/watch out for during them… if they can take place!
FIS stands for the International Ski Federation, which is the governing body for international winter sports. They run events across a large number of disciplines in skiing and snowboarding, as well as other sports. They are responsible for the rankings of athletes that lead to competitions like the Olympic games. The FIS calender of events normally runs throughout the season and even sometimes before it starts! Some of the Alpine events bring in huge crowds of people. I personally do not follow the Alpine circuit that much but from what I have heard, the World Cup event in Kitzbuehel, Austria always has an amazing atmosphere and makes for a fun week!
If you have tried searching for events within the extreme sports categories, X-Games would definitely be on top of the results. The first event took place in 1997 and it has grown in popularity ever since. Contests from 3 sports are typically seen during the X-Games: Skiing, Snowboarding and Snowmobile. Since 2002 the X-Games have mostly been held in Aspen, Colorado. For people that are unable to go, this event is shown on ESPN (TV) and the ESPN website. These contests often provide spectators with some ‘world-firsts’, and are always packed full of action.
My favourite disciplines to watch are the Snowboard Slopestyle, Big Air and Knuckle Huck competitions. It is incredible to see the progression that the athletes have year-on-year in addition to the tweaks and changes in the rules which make for some interesting results. The addition of the Knuckle Huck competition has definitely been the highlight of the recent installments of X-Games. It is a discipline where athletes have to do fun tricks from the ‘Knuckle’ of the jump (check the diagram below) and there have been some creative ones to say the least! I recommend you check out Zeb Powell, who won the contest in 2019, doing some creative stuff.
So far, X-Games have confirmed the dates of 28-31 of January and have not mentioned any cancellations due to Covid so for now, it is on!
The Dew Tour is another installment of a freestyle-based event. As you can probably tell by now, I am much more attuned to the freestyle aspect of the winter sports! The event is normally held in various locations within Colorado. The next one looks like it is going to be held in Copper Mountain, however the dates have not been confirmed yet.
The Dew Tour holds competitions across skiing and snowboarding but offers different style competitions to other events. They have introduced Team competitions. This makes things much more interesting because it is not only dependent on one person’s performance, but on careful selection of the team. They also hold events called ‘Streetstyle’, where athletes are performing within walking distance with the fans and it creates an amazing spectacle! Here are some of the highlights:
The list of the biggest sporting events would not be complete without the biggest event that happens every 4 years: the Winter Olympic Games. The Games were supposed to happen this year (2020) but due to the pandemic, they had to be rescheduled for the year of 2021 and will be held in Japan- super exciting! The Olympic Games last for 16 days and consist of nearly 100 different events.
The Alpine side and Half Pipe of skiing and snowboarding have been present in the Olympics for a long time, with Slopestyle being introduced in 2014 and Big Air in 2018. This creates an awesome show as sometimes some Nations, that will not generally be present in the events mentioned above, will have a chance to show their skills in this Global competition. The stakes for this event are the highest as the whole World is watching and the prestige of winning is massive! Overall, I am pleased what the introductions of these events into the Olympic stage have done for the sports as they have been firmly put on the map. It encourages more and more people to participate in the sports that many people love so much!
So I’ve outlined 4 of the biggest events that happen within the industry and given you an insight into what my thoughts of them are! Please comment with other events that you think are worthy of a mention and we can open up a conversation about them. You can also just ask questions that you may have about the events that I’ve already listed.