This high-flying sport will be expanding this year with the first-ever Olympic slopestyle and halfpipe competition. With the gaining popularity of extreme winter events, the Olympics is working to capture this exciting and passionate athletic base. The extreme sports trend has been widely successful in the United States along with Canada and Australia. With the growth of the Olympic events, this sport will only gain strength in emerging markets in Asia and Europe.
These two events join with the classic events of moguls, aerials and ski-cross. Each of these events requires a differing skill set, keeping a possibility for a large medal haul for any team which shows dominance. A total of 30 freestyle skiing medals are up for grabs during the next two weeks. Frontrunners for team U.S.A. are Hannah Kearney in the moguls event and David Wise in the half-pipe. International stars to watch are Fanny Smith of Switzerland in ski cross and the aerials team of Qi Guangpu and Jia Zongyang from China.