It's All '
now sports are going downhill— through half pipes, over obstacles and off jumps—and promoters of the sports couldn't be happier, especially since there is so much interest among youth athletes.
Ski & Snowboard
Looking ahead to the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, Tom Kelly, communications director and spokesperson for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA), said the addition of new competitions in free skiing and snowboarding for 2014, including half- pipe skiing, slope-style skiing, and slope-
What's Got Kids Psyched About Snow Sports
BY D. FRAN MORLEY
style snowboarding, reflects recent growth trends. "These are really driving the sport, not just for our athletes at the elite level but also in the recreational side of the industry at resorts around the country." Over the past decade, event series from the X Games to the Dew Tour, along with the USSA's Grand Prix and Revolution Tour, have become the playing fields for young stars in the sports, and that excite-
ment has been picked up by teens who seek to follow them to the awards stand one day, Kelly said. "For USSA, 70 to 80 percent of our members are under 18. You don't see that in the media because the elite athletes are older, but the trends are dictated by what kids are doing at ski resorts around the world, day in and day out." New freestyle events sell out quickly, he
Ramping Up The Youth Following The inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) take place in Innsbruck, Austria, Jan. 13-22, 2012. Approximately 1,100 young athletes, ages 14-19, from more than 60 countries will compete in 63 medal events, 14 of which are making their debut on an Olympic program, including slope-style snowboard and ski half pipe. Unlike the Olympic Games, the youth athletes are expected to stay in the
host city throughout the games to participate in an integrated sport and cul- ture and education program that includes a number of mixed-gender and mixed-nationality events, where athletes from different countries will compete together on the same team. ■
28 January 2012 www.sportseventsmagazine.com