Already counting down the days until the next winter Olympics? It might be time to brush up on your big air knowledge in the meantime.
The International Olympic committee have announced that big air skiing (a discipline in which skiiers perform tricks after launching themselves into the air from large jumps) will be an official sport of the 2022 Winter Olympics, and Britain’s athletes stand a chance of ending up on the podium.
Big air is already big news for British Ski and Snowboard – big air snowboarding was an official event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Beijing, where Britain’s Billy Morgan scored a bronze medal for his daring airborne tricks. GB’s freestyle skiiers have already proved they’ve got the good stuff too – James ‘Woodsy’ Woods won gold at the X-Games in Aspen in 2017 and Katie Summerhayes, Izzy Atkin and Madi Rowlands have all placed in the top 10 at World Cup level.
“Big Air’s inclusion for Beijing means we’re going to be seeing more of the best freestyle skiers competing at World Cup events over the next four years but I’m confident that our athletes will be consistently challenging for podium positions.” said Dan Hunt, BSS’ Performance Director.
Also announced as new winter sports for 2022 are mixed team snowboard cross, mixed freestyle skiing aerials and mixed ski jumping. And it’s good news for the girls – Beijing will have the highest overall gender balance at an Olympic Winter Games so far, with 51 events for men and 46 for women.