COLUMN // TERJE'S OLYMPIC ULTIMATUM
Preserving the status quo in snowboarding is not an option.
Terje leads the charge for realism in Olympic snowboarding.
In a bold and much needed move, Terje Haakonsen is leading a charge to get Olympic snowboarding run by snowboarders. Snowboarding run by snowboarders. Boy it really doesn't sound that bold when we type it out like that does it? Hunh. kinda just seems like something that should all ready exist doesn't it? Hence the push.
In April, the IOC will decide whether or not to bring slopestyle into the Olympic program. The snowboarders support an inclusion, but only if the sport is run by snowboarders.
As all the best slopestyle riders are competing in Oslo this week, they are releasing Snowboarding's 180 Olympic Charter to influence the IOC decision.
Snowboarding is no longer the kid brother in the Olympic Winter Games. With over 30 million Americans watching the Vancouver halfpipe finals, snowboarding is a strong voice in the Olympic landscape. In the 180 Charter, the best snowboarders in the world recognize the Olympics as the potential pinnacle event of the sport, but only on certain conditions:
They want their voices to be heard in an open and fair decision making system, and they want a new order for qualifying in the Olympics.
Currently, the ski federation (FIS) is running the Olympic qualifications. The ski federation does not do a world slopestyle tour, but has announced that they will establish one if the discipline is accepted on the Olympic program. According to the 180 Olympic Charter this will lead to conflicting event dates for the riders due to existing slopestyle tours with great events.
The snowboarders ask the IOC to make a 180-degree turn. Conflicting dates will hurt the progression of the sport. They want a common Olympic ranking for all world class events, not only for FIS events.
This is what the charter states:
- We recognize the Olympics as a potential pinnacle event of snowboarding, but only if our voices are heard.
- All snowboard events and organizations throughout the world must listen to the driving force of our sport: the athletes.
- Snowboarders want a transparent and democratic process in all decision-making systems that have an effect on our daily lives and occupation.
- Snowboarding will never reach its full potential with conflicting dates of major snowboarding events.
- We do not want a new world tour for slopestyle qualifications.
- We want an Olympic ranking to reduce the date conflicts of major events.
- We believe the International Olympic Committee has a responsibility to listen to our voices and make way for the unleashing of snowboarding’s true potential.
- We want all powers to start a dialogue to find a solution for the better good of the sport.
- Preserving the status quo in snowboarding is not an option.