Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Freeskiing [Print without images]

Thursday, February 17, 2011
The IOC speaks. Vaguely

By Megan Michelson
ESPN Action Sports

Keep dreaming of Olympic glory. Someday, maybe, potentially, it will come. Jossi Wells at FIS Worlds.

The Olympic rumors have been swirling for months now. In October, the International Olympic Committee postponed deciding on whether or not ski slopestyle and superpipe would become Winter Olympic sports in 2014. Skiers grew antsy, even irritated. The IOC said they'd decide after the various world championships of all the new sports had taken place.

Well, the FIS Freestyle World Championships -- which included both ski slopestyle and superpipe for the first time this year -- took place earlier this month in Park City, and an IOC member was there to watch. "What I have seen from slopestyle, it is very good," Canadian IOC official Walter Bieber told reporters. "The IOC sending an observer here is very serious in recognizing eventually that slopestyle and halfpipe skiing could potentially be accepted."

There are a few key words in that sentence: eventually, potentially.

There's no concrete answer yet. For now, all we can do is wait. But wait till when exactly? I asked Sandrine Tonge, Media Relations Manager for the International Olympic Committee, when exactly this fabled 2014 decision will be made. Her answer was vague but encouraging. "To answer your question, the experts from the Olympic Programme commission will carefully analyze the outcome of the different World Championships to be held until the end of March," Tonge said. "Based on their observations, a decision is likely to be announced sometime in April."

A few more key words for you: likely, sometime.

And there's more. ESPN Snowboarding recently spoke to Gerhard Heiberg, a Norwegian member of the IOC's Executive Board. ESPN's Melissa Larsen mainly spoke to Heiberg about snowboarding's Olympic future, but she did also ask him about ski slopestyle and superpipe's Olympic chances.

Heiberg's response? Vague, but encouraging. "I will not predict anything," he said, "but we have said that provided the level is high enough it will be part of the games in Sochi."

Read Full Interview With IOC's Heiberg Here »