Ski and snowboard slopestyle debuted for the first time in the Olympics this year in Sochi, Russia. The course was big and intimidating. So much so, that legendary snowboarder, Shaun White, pulled out of slopestyle just days before the competition.
Maybe Shaun was right… The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is now saying the number of injuries in the slopestyle competition was “unacceptably high.” One official has even gone so far as to say that slopestyle may be removed from the Olympics completely.
Lars Engebretsen, head of scientific activities at the IOC’s medical and scientific department, has stated that the injury rates in slopestyle were much higher than any other sport in Sochi.
“To me it was unacceptably high, absolutely … very, very, very high. Right now the injury rate as it was in Sochi was too high to be a sport that we have in the Olympics.” – Lars Engerbretsen told the AP
To actually remove slopestyle from the Olympics, the IOC’s executive board would have to take action. Most likely, they’ll give it another chance. Lars Engerbretsen is not on the IOC executive board.
If it was up to Engerbretsen, slopestyle would be gone:
“I can say what I feel: That sport should change, otherwise we shouldn’t have it. But the IOC may not follow that.” – Lars
Slopestyle will most likely be around for Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018. The world will be watching once more and hopefully slopestyle will produce a lot less injuries and a lot more thrills.