Over the weekend, the International Ski Federation (FIS) Council decided that ski and snowboard slopestyle would be added, for the first time, to the 2011 Freestyle and Snowboard World Championships. The decision was made at FIS headquarters in Oberhofen, Switzerland.
This comes after the recent IOC Executive Board meeting in Acapulco, Mexico, where the decision to admit ski and snowboard slopestyle and ski halfpipe into the 2014 Winter Olympics was postponed until after the 2011 World Championships take place.
Some were surprised that ski slopestyle was even in serious consideration for a 2014 Winter Olympic bid, but this weekend's addition of slopestyle to the FIS World Championships seems to confirm the IOC's consideration of the discipline. "Ski slopestyle was not among the original events put forward by the FIS," says Tom Kelly, the vice president of communications for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. "In discussions this summer between the IOC and FIS, the FIS was encouraged by the IOC to make the request."
The Freestyle Skiing World Championships are taking place at Deer Valley, Utah, from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5, 2011. Deer Valley, which does not currently have a terrain park, will host moguls, dual moguls, aerials and ski cross. Ski halfpipe, which has been part of the Freestyle Worlds since 2005, will take place at neighboring Park City. According to Tom Kelly, the location of the ski slopestyle event is still under consideration. "We are presently in discussions regarding ski slopestyle at Freestyle Worlds, which are being hosted by Deer Valley Resort," Kelly told ESPN. "Our present discussions are on the possible integration and where it would be held -- Deer Valley or Park City."
The Snowboard World Championships are taking place at La Molina, Spain, from Jan. 15-22, 2011, and will include big air, boarder cross, halfpipe, parallel GS and slalom, and pending final agreement, slopestyle. "We anticipate that the snowboarding slopestyle will be added to the program for the FIS Snowboard World Championships," Kelly said. "This is subject to finalization between FIS and La Molina." The U.S. was among the countries that put snowboarding slopestyle in front of the FIS Congress last May in Turkey, where it was accepted for inclusion.