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Australia’s snowboard athletes will be vying for Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Snowboard Cross medals at the Bokwang Phoenix Park at PyeongChang. The 2018 Games will also see the new snowboard discipline of Big Air making its debut at the Alpensia Ski Jump Centre in the PyeongChang Mountain Cluster.

With a number of Australian Olympians looking to compete at their second, third or even fourth Games, their previous Olympic experience will be invaluable as they face off agaisnt the world’s best boarders in South Korea.

One of the mostly tightly contested events at PyeongChang 2018 will be the men’s snowboard halfpipe event. Australia’s dual Olympian and current World Champion Scotty James will be lining up against the world’s best including two-time Olympic gold medallist American Shaun White, and up-and-coming American boarder Chase Josey, who finished second behind James on the overall 2017 FIS World Cup leader board. In the ladies’ competition, while we might see the return of triple Olympian and two-time Olympic medallist Torah Bright, the woman to beat will be 17-year-old American Kim Chloe who won gold at the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Winter Olympic Games and won the 2017 FIS Snowboard Halfpipe Crystal Globe as the top ranked female.

An always unpredictable event is the Snowboard cross where the top 40 men and 30 women will race down the mountain, with the fastest claiming Olympic gold. After finishing the 2017 season as World number three, Belle Brockhoff will be a hot favourite in the women’s event, while 2016 X-Games Gold and Silver medallists, Jarryd Hughes and Alex Pullin will look to take out the men’s event. 

Athletes to watch: Dual Olympian and current World Champion Scotty James will be looking to qualify for his third Games at PyeongChang in the Snowboard Halfpipe. James currently holds three of the four major halfpipe crowns: World Champion, X-Games and the World Cup Crystal Globe as the overall season winner. He will be aiming for Olympic Gold at Bokwang Snow Park to complete his collection of World titles.

Hoping to join James in the pipe at Bokwang include Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games silver medallist Emily Arthur, triple Olympian Holly Crawford, and Sochi 2014 Olympians Kent Callister and Nate Johnstone.

Plus, keep an eye out for triple Olympian Torah Bright. The Vancouver 2010 gold and Sochi 2014 silver medallist will be in medal contention in the halfpipe if she qualifies for PyeongChang 2018.

Looking to make their Olympic debuts in 2018 in the Snowboard Slopestyle disciple include two-time Junior Snowboard World Champion Tess Coady, former halfpipe-rider-turned-slopestyle-athlete Matt Cox, and Jessica Rich, who placed eighth at the Olympic Test event in February 2016.

Coady, will also aim to line up in the new Big Air event, after the 16-year-old won gold in both Slopestyle and Big Air at the 2017 Junior World Championships in Czech Republic.

Also held at Bokwang Park will be the Snowboard Cross events, where Australia will have a number of medal chances with the likes of two-times World Champion Alex Pullin, X-Games Gold medallist Jarryd Hughes and 2017 World number three Belle Brockhoff who will all vie to take out the top spot on the podium.

Qualification, Nomination & Selection

Snowboard Cross
Australia will be aiming to qualify a full contingent (4) of male athletes and one (1) female in Snowboard Cross at PyeongChang 2018. Qualification will be based on achieving a minimum of 100.00 FIS points and having placed in the top 30 of a FIS Snowboard Cross qualification event, which will be finalised by 22 January 2018. For the full details on qualification click here>>>

If an athlete has qualified then they will be eligible to be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection. For the full details on nomination to the Australian Olympic Winter Team click here>>>

Snowboard Halfpipe
Australia will be aiming to qualify three (3) men and three (3) women in Snowboard Halfpipe at PyeongChang 2018. Qualification will be based on achieving a minimum of 50.00 FIS points and having placed in the top 30 of a FIS Snowboard Halfpipe qualification event, which will be finalised by 22 January 2018. For the full details on qualification click here>>>

If an athlete has qualified then they will be eligible to be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection. For the full details on nomination to the Australian Olympic Winter Team click here>>>

Snowboard Slopestyle
Australia will be aiming to qualify two (2) women in Snowboard Slopestyle at PyeongChang 2018. Qualification will be based on achieving a minimum of 50.00 FIS points and having placed in the top 30 of a FIS Snowboard Slopestyle qualification event, which will be finalised by 22 January 2018. For the full details on qualification click here>>>

If an athlete has qualified then they will be eligible to be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection. For the full details on nomination to the Australian Olympic Winter Team click here>>>

Snowboard Big Air
Australia will be aiming to qualify two (2) women in Snowboard Big Air at PyeongChang 2018. Qualification will be based on achieving a minimum of 50.00 FIS points and having placed in the top 30 of a FIS Snowboard Big Air qualification event, which will be finalised by 22 January 2018. For the full details on qualification click here>>>

If an athlete has qualified then they will be eligible to be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection. For the full details on nomination to the Australian Olympic Winter Team click here>>>

Competition Format & Events

There are five snowboard events on the Olympic programme for men and women.

Snowboard Cross (SBX)
A new addition to the Olympic programme in 2006, Snowboard Cross will see competitors battle it out in a six-man race down the course. With the top three finishers advancing to the next round, athletes will have to be the fastest over the jumps, banked turns and rollers. 

The Olympic snowboard cross competition consists of two portions: seeding (for men)/qualification (for women) and elimination rounds.

In the seeding/qualification rounds, competitors take individual runs through the course, and the top times determine the seeding for the final brackets, 40 men and 24 women.

In the elimination rounds, competitors are divided into heats, each wearing a bib colour that corresponds to their seeding/qualification run ranking. The top-ranked rider in the heat wears a red bib, No. 2 a green bib, No. 3 a blue bib, No. 4 a yellow bib, No. 5 a white bib and No. 6 a black bib. The athletes in their colour ranking also get to pick their starting gate

The men's eliminations start with the 1/8 finals, with eight heats of five riders. The top three racers from each of the eight heats (24 athletes total) advance to the quarterfinals. The women's eliminations start with the quarterfinals, and from this point on, the format is identical for the men's and women's events.

In the quarterfinals onward, each heat consists of six athletes. The top three riders from each quarterfinal (12 athletes total) advance to the semifinal heats, and the top three riders from each semifinal heat (six athletes total) advance to the final, which determines first through sixth place. The racers ranked fourth through sixth in the semifinals (six athletes total) are relegated to the small final to determine seventh through 12th place.

If two or more racers appear to cross the finish line at the same time, the official results will be determined after examining the photo finish to see the first part of each rider's body or snowboard that crossed the finish line.

Snowboard Halfpipe (HP)
One competitor at a time performs a routine of acrobatic jumps, flips, twists and other manoeuvres on a semi-circle ramp called the halfpipe. Six judges mark the performance on their take-offs, the height they reach above the top of the pipe, and difficulty/execution of their tricks. 

There are three phases of the competition – heats, semi-final and final. Scores do not carry over. In the qualification phase there are 30 men and 24 women. There are two qualification runs with the top 3 men and women in each heat qualifying directly for the finals. Competitors ranked 4th – 9th in each heat advance to the semi-finals.  In the semi-finals there are two runs with the top 6 men and women qualifying for the finals.

There are two runs in the final phase. In the first run, competitors go down in the reverse order of their rank (Q2 and then Q1). In the second run, competitors go down in the reverse order of their first final run rank). Each athlete’s top score from the two final runs determines their placing and the medals.

Snowboard Slopestyle (SBS)
Slopestyle courses feature rails, jibs, hips and a variety of jumps allowing skiers to select which objects they perform on in each run. Six judges mark the overall performance score according to the height, rotations, techniques, and the degree of difficulty with the perfect score being 100 points

There are two phases of the competition – qualification and final. Scores do not carry over from qualification to the final.

There will be 40 male and 30 female athletes across big air and slopestyle. In the qualification round, the top 8 men and women go straight to the final. The remaining athletes battle it out in the semi-final. In the semi-final, the top 4 advance to the final. In the final there are 12 competitors with the top three results being awarded the medals. 

Snowboard Big Air (BA)
The Big Air event involves competitors riding a snowboard down a large hill and performing complex tricks with sizable heights and distance after launching off very large jumps. They are judged on the difficulty/execution of their tricks and securing a clean landing.

Riders will need to land two different tricks, or variations of, to have a chance at the podium.

There will be 40 male and 30 female athletes across big air and slopestyle. In the qualification round, the top 8 men and women go straight to the final. The remaining athletes battle it out in the semi-final. In the semi-final, the top 4 advance to the final. In the final there are 12 competitors with the top three results being awarded the medals.

Parallel Giant Slalom (PGS)
The parallel giant slalom involves two riders racing down the same slope on two parallel courses, outlined with gates and triangular flags, blue on the left course and red on the right course. The setting of the courses, the terrain and snow coverage must be as identical as possible. 

There are 32 men and 32 women, who can each contest the two events. After two qualifying runs, a 16-person head-to-head competition is established in which riders compete in two side-by-side courses. All parallel finals heats consist of two runs. The competitors change courses for the second run. 

The loser of the first run starts with a time delay, which corresponds to his or her time behind the winner of the first run (with a maximum of 1.5 seconds). A competitor, who does not start, does not finish or is disqualified in the first run, starts the second run with the penalty time delay. 

Finals consist of 1/8 finals (8 pairs), quarter-finals (4 pairs), semi-finals (2 pairs), consolation rounds 5th–8th (2 pairs), and finals (2 pairs): a small and big final (bronze and gold medal rounds), classifications 5th–6th place, classifications 7th–8th place. The winners of the 1/8 final heats qualify to the quarter-finals. The winners of the quarter-finals qualify to the semi-finals. The winners of the semi-finals qualify to the big final (gold and silver medal). The losers of the semi-finals qualify to the small final (bronze medal).

Australia and Olympic Snowboard

Australia was represented at the Winter Olympics by Zeke Steggall when snowboarding made its debut at Nagano 1998. Competing in the giant slalom he placed 28th from a field of 34. He went on to represent Australia at Salt Lake City 2002, achieving a place of 26th in Parallel Giant Slalom.

At Torino 2006, Australia greatly increased its snowboard contingent, taking nine athletes. Torah Bright, Holly Crawford, Johanna Shaw and Emily Thomas became Australia's first Olympic female representatives with Bright the best placed finishing fifth in the halfpipe. Damon Hayler was the best placed male, finishing seventh in the snowboard cross.

Bright won Australia’s first snowboard medal at Vancouver 2010 – gold in the women’s halfpipe. The girl from Cooma qualified for the final in first place but crashed out in her first run, earning a mere 5.9 points. Posting the lowest score, Bright was forced to face the pipe first in the second run but produced a crisp run with five near-perfect trick executions, earning her a huge score of 45.00 that no other rider was able to match.

15-year-old Scotty James also made his Olympic debut at Vancouver, and would go on to become one of Australis’ most decorated halfpipe athletes.

At Sochi 2014, Bright became the first competitor to compete in three snowboard events at the same Games, taking on the slopestyle and snowboard cross in addition to the halfpipe. After finishing seventh in the slopestyle on Day 2, she produced a blistering performance in the halfpipe on Day 5 to earn the silver medal. The 27-year-old would go on to finish equal 18th in the snowboard cross, proving she was truly the most versatile and talented snowboarder at the Games.

Holly Crawford placed 26th at her third Olympic campaign at Sochi, while Scotty James placed 21st in the snowboard halfpipe and 16th in slopestyle at Sochi. After Bright, debutant Kent Callister was Australia’s highest placing snowboarder in 2014, finishing 9th in the men’s halfpipe.

Leading into PyeongChang 2018, Scotty James is the two-time halfpipe World Champion, X-Games gold medallist and FIS Snowboard Crystal Globe holder, as the top ranked halfpipe athlete of the 2016/17 season.

Olympic History

Snowboard was added to the Olympic program for the first time at Nagano 1998 with giant slalom and halfpipe events for both men and women. At Salt Lake 2002 the alpine event of parallel giant slalom replaced the giant slalom event. Snowboard cross made its Olympic debut at Torino 2006. At the Sochi 2014 Games, parallel slalom was reintroduced as well as snowboard slopestyle.

Pre-PyeongChang AUS Tally

1 Gold
1 Silver
0 Bronze

Detail

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