On April 6, 2011 the International Olympic Committee announced the addition of Men’s and Women’s Ski Half Pipe and Women’s Ski Jumping. Congratulations are in order. Both sports are well represented here in Utah and Women’s Ski Jumping makes their home here in Park City. While the half pipe athletes are more individual than team, many of the half pipe riders live and train here in Utah. Utah is a great home to these athletes, and we as a state have provided them with the platform that they have needed to grow their sport and gain the attention of the Olympic Committee. Again, Congratulations are in order for the athletes, their future, but mostly congratulations to Utah.
Our state deserves a pat on the back for creating the atmosphere of competition and winning. While the women of ski jumping have had a difficult road to get their sport to a new level, ski half pipe reaped the rewards of the success of men’s and women’s snowboard half pipe. With the state of the art training facility at Park City, snowboard half pipe began their path to success and paved the way for the ski community to follow. This is another accomplishment of the state. By providing the platform to achieve success, the talent of the athletes multiplied and took over the winter community. Now in the Olympics, the snowboard half pipe is one of the most anticipated events of the games.
The success if the US Snowboard teams in the past few winter Olympics from Salt Lake on, allowed for the ski half pipe to coast into the Olympic family with more ease. However, it was not without problems either. The Olympic committee would not let the ski pipe in until the women showed that they were relevant in the sport. Thanks to a great winter season in the world championships and grand prix stops, the women upped their performance and became relevant.
While this may sound harsh, it’s part of the sport and life. Men’s sports take precedence in many ways and that’s how it has been and it doesn’t seem like that is going to change anytime soon. Men are physically built different and they have an edge in the winter sports. If you have an issue with that, get over your ego and find a way to support the women in ways that you can control. Support them with your viewership and your praise. This helps sway the tide of the international sport governing body.
Due to that kind of support, in October 2010, the IOC EB said it was “looking favorably” at adding women’s ski jumping to Sochi 2014, but said it needed more time to consider the outcome of the sport’s 2011 World Championships in Oslo in February. In grueling weather conditions and in front of nearly 10,000 spectators, 43 athletes from 15 nations competed in Oslo compared to 36 athletes from 13 nations in Liberec, Czech Republic in 2009. Five of the top six finishers in Oslo were from different countries and ranged in age from 27 to 14.
IOC senior members Gunilla Lindberg and Gerhard Heiberg, a winter sports expert, both publically praised the women’s event in Oslo — a positive pre-cursor to the announcement.
With the recent stop of the Alli Sports Winter Dew Tour here in Utah, our stop broke the attendance record on the Saturday half pipe competitions. Congratulations again to us and our state. That kind of support that we can show for a Dew Tour stop showed the world that we do support the men and women athletes and that our interest will not fade when the time comes to support them and rally behind our country in 2014 in Russia. Congratulations once again US Men and Women half pipe Skiers and Jumpers, but most importantly thank you to the great state of Utah and our residents. We are the state of sport; we compete not only for ourselves but for you, the state and this country.
For T Squared Thoughts on this http://www.tsquaredsports.com/forum/2011/04/new-sports-in-the-winter-olympics-i-still-prefer-the-summer-sports/