Snowboarders are set to gather today (March 10, 2011) for a meeting at the US Open Snowboarding Championships to discuss forming a union to help snowboarders deal with event scheduling issues International Olympic Committee’s plans to add slopestyle to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, according to a Matt Higgins story in the New York Times.
Such a union would be unusual: X Games competitors’ efforts to create a union have fizzled out, and riders say this is the first attempt to create a union in snowboarding. . . “We have no time to train, no time to recover from injuries,” said Chas Guldemond, 23, of Reno, who during the past three weeks has won slopestyle competitions in Europe, Asia and North America. After the United States Open, Guldemond will fly to France for Winter X Games Europe next week.
While the idea of athletes organizing to protect their best interests is a great one (and we hope they are successful for once), this entire issue seems more related to the owners of established snowboarding events (the TTR series for example) hoping to be included in the Olympic qualification process even though they have never been big fans the FIS.
Apparently, event owners like Terje Haakonsen have finally figured out that being a little more involved with the Olympic process just might be good for business.
[Link: New York Times]