Craig McMorris - Thursday Feb. 6, 2014 01:52

Sochi Olympics slopestyle course has 'kinks,' sure

But is it tougher than any other slopestyle course?

Sochi's slopestyle course
Groomers prepare the slopestyle course at the Sochi Winter Olympics in advance of competition on Thursday. (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

Day one of my Olympic experience is coming to a close and I have to admit, it’s like nothing I could have ever imagined, a brand new city in the middle of breathtaking mountains.

Unfortunately my board bag did not arrive so I was unable to snowboard and truly get a feel for the mountain, and instead had to watch the slopestyle snowboard practice from the bottom.

Today was day two of practice and there have already been some interesting stories.

Torstein Horgmo of Norway fell hard in day one of practice and broke his collarbone; Torstein was a medal favoruite. This story hits close to home for me because I spent much of the fall traveling and training with Torstein, and to see his Olympic dreams end with something so sudden makes you realize just how volatile slopestyle snowboarding is and how anything can happen. 

The only silver lining of this heart-breaking story is that Norway’s incredible depth in slopestyle will come into play and Torgeir Bergrem, the alternate, will get his chance to represent his country.

On the Canadian front, all six slopestyle athletes have completed two full days of practice and have been proving why they are medal favourites. Spencer O’Brien took a hard fall in day one of practice, but seemed to shake it off and show some tenacity in her riding on day two.

(Finnish snowboarder Marika Enne and Slovenia's Sadar Cilka also crashed on a training run, while U.S. snowboarder Shaun White jammed his wrist during practice on the course and pulled out of the slopestyle event.)

With these falls comes speculation about the course. Some people say it’s somewhat dangerous, but in my opinion this is to be expected. The test event for slopestyle here in Sochi was cancelled last winter so this is the first-ever slopestyle event on this mountain. There are obviously some kinks that need to be worked out and fine-tuning has to be done, but in my opinion the course is no more dangerous then any other slopestyle course.

It’s a dangerous sport and injuries do happen, but hopefully there are no more as the week progresses and the riders get more acquainted with the features. All in all it’s going to be an exciting and monumental slopestyle event and the world will see what an incredible sport this really is.

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