For the extreme viewer: Slopestyle snowboarding

J.P. O'Hagan, Staff Reporter

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Snowboarding is a recent staple at the Winter Olympics. One of the newest sports, snowboarding is definitely a must-watch event. This year marks the first time for slopestyle competition in the Olympics.

Slopestyle is a downhill event that includes a series of obstacles at the start and jumps at the end. Though it is a staple in the X-Games, this year it is making its Olympic debut in both the snowboarding and free-style skiing events. There are concerns about the safety of the new course and this could provide some drama in the upcoming games.

U.S. favorite Shaun White had been slated to attempt for two medals this year in slopestyle and halfpipe. He withdrew from slopestyle citing health concerns and wishing to focus on the halfpipe competition, in which he is aiming for his third-straight gold. His absence will open the door for the Canadian’s lead by Mark McMorris, leading to a possible podium sweep. On the women’s side, American Jamie Anderson is the heavy favorite in the new event and Torah Bright from Australia will be fun to watch as she attempts to medal in three events, including slopestyle. Snowboarding is one of the first events of the games, with qualifying runs having started prior to Friday’s opening ceremony.