UPDATE: We’ve been, uh, reliably informed that there are two tracks NOT to pit riders against each other in a spectator-driven death race, but in fact to give the skiers their own track to race on. Fair enough, though there’s yet no word on whether or not they’ll race the skiers and snowboarders at the same time or not. Here’s keeping our fingers crossed…
OK, so we don’t often cover the race-waxed side of snowboarding – there’s only so many hours in a day and we’ve always preferred style over speed. Sue us. But once every four years it is pretty fun to watch really shouty blokes psych themselves up by beating their fists on their full face lids.
FIS long ago realised that you can never make lycra-clad snowboarders look as exciting for a TV audience as downhill ski racing, but if you offer the chance of high-speed, multiple-victim crashes then the viewing figures should skyrocket.
Having experimented with different formats for a while, it looks like they’re actively trying to dismember riders. The course preview for the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang above looks likely to take no prisoners as it splits in two like a Mario Kart track. This really doesn’t make sense (to us at least) for a race not determined by Nintendo physics, but the risk factor is racked up by the two tracks crossing over each other – the first time with one half having to air over the other (Slice ‘n’ Dice influenced?), the second a straight intersection with no traffic lights – before merging again before the final couple of berms and big air section. No turn signals here, just straight carnage.
So, that’ll be entertaining, and possibly more worthwhile staying up ’til the early hours for than the potential triple corked mute fest. Maybe someone might even try and chuck a method?