2010
01.28

Sorry for the long pause between posts, but that is one of the problems of running a snowboard and winter sports blog: I do tend to flee to snow filled mountains to satisfy my addiction and passion for snowboarding and anything winter-sports related.

I want to talk about Winter Olympics 2010 in Vancouver and in particular, what is happening in snowboarding within the run up to this year’s Games.

The first major news is the 2 serious injuries in snowboarding of Kevin Pearce and Danny Davis.

Ok, Danny Davis was injured in a non-snowboard related ATV accident, but for purely selfish reasons to me, this is a major blow for the Olympic half pipe competition, because I really wanted to see Davis throw it down against Shaun White at this year’s games, Davis is one of only a few boarders that can stop the Olympics becoming the Shaun White show, as I fear they might now, but I do live in hope that one of the other riders will raise their game and make this event one of the show pieces for these games.

More serious is the accident and injury of young snowboarding hopeful Kevin Pearce. Pearce was critically injured during an half pipe training run in Park City, Utah, after striking his head on the edge of the pipe suffering a serious and traumatic brain injury, which led to a build-up of fluid in the brain. Pearce was then induced into a medical coma to prevent further damage to his brain.

The last update on Kevin Pearce’s condition was on the 13th Jan; Elaine Skalabrin, MD, Medical Director, Neuro Critical Care, and one of Kevin’s doctors, states: “Kevin continues to improve and is actively participating in his therapies. He is making progress on a daily basis.”

The shock of this type of accident on a pro rider and someone so young sparked a great debate, well, a one woman debate to be precise, in the form of Ice skating columnist Christine Brennan. Brennan, with her years of experience and knowledge in Ice dancing, decided she was the perfect person to reform snowboarding and particularly the half pipe event, to make it safer and therefore less watchable.

Brennan has complained in the past that the Winter Olympics are becoming too extreme, just to keep television viewers happy.

In her opinion the half pipe should only have a limited amount of safe to perform moves, and be judged like Ice skating/ dancing.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Ice dancing just as much as the next man: which other winter sport do we tune in with glee to see provocatively dressed Russian women and statuesque men with mullets falling over on ice in time to music, or the Italian pair fighting in the rink because he unfortunately dropped her on her head again.

These are all priceless moments in any sport, but to suggest stagnating the moves in snowboarding would kill off this event; maybe this is what Christine Brennan hopes will happen because her beloved sport no longer commands the attention or sponsors it used to. Because of these new young Olympic disciplines, there is a place for both sports in the Winter Olympics: the high excitement and drama of the snowboarding and freestyle skiing in the half pipe, and the comedy of grown men in sparkling spandex on the ice rink.

Christine Brennan has upset the snowboarding community so much there is even a facebook group in her honour with over 7000 members.

However my  thoughts are with Kevin Pearce, I really hope we see him at the next Winter Olympics tearing up the half pipe and earning himself that illusive gold medal.

Next week, I will tell you about the craziest custom made skis know to man (Traam)

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