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Slopestyle success whets IOC appetite for new sports

Feb 10 2014, 6:09 AM EST

By Karolos Grohmann

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Long before American Sage Kotsenburg grabbed the inaugural slopestyle snowboarding gold medal at the Sochi Olympics on Saturday it was clear the new event would be an instant hit.

With legions of young followers around the world, the gravity-defying event took the Olympic world by storm, leaving the International Olympic Committee wanting more such changes.

"It is just extraordinary," said IOC sports director Christophe Dubi on Monday.

"If you take a step back and you are sitting where you are, or where we are at the IOC, I think one thing we share in common is the desire for ultimate emotions."

"We thought it was the ultimate experience. It is really a grand entrance for slopestyle," he said, sitting next to gold medalist Kotsenburg.

Anderson Completes US Sweep in Slopestyle

Dubi, who will soon take over as the IOC's Olympic Games Executive Director, said the event showed the need to reshuffle the sports program quicker.

"For the IOC what is at play is to review the program on a regular basis to make sure it remains relevant," he said. "Of course, we need to preserve our history. At the same time we have to remain relevant and make sure that we capture new audience as well."

The IOC is to review how many and how quickly sports can be added to the Games with a December 2014 session to decide on a string of changes, including scrapping a seven-year waiting period for new sports to join the Olympics.

Golf and rugby are the most recent sports additions to the Games with the two sports taking part in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro summer Olympics.

Events of an existing Olympic sport can be added up to two years in advance. A dozen new events were included in the Sochi Games program.

"There is a desire for more flexibility," said Dubi. "There is consensus that things will evolve and evolve for the better."

Kotsenburg said the slopestyle event had instantly breathed fresh air into the Games.

"I think the world needed to see slopestyle," the American told reporters. "Because snowboarding is a different sport than figure skating or gymnastics.

"We come from a crazy background," said Kotsenburg, who believes a Big Air event could also be included in the Olympic snowboarding competition.

"We're all really different and individual people, and this is what the kids are doing nowadays. So we're all definitely stoked to be in the Olympics."

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

Join the discussion

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cact25 February 11 2014 at 1:38 AM

Golf? They must be smoking weed! It's the most boring and time consuming event to watch.

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kvnsdrm February 10 2014 at 4:13 PM

All of these so called "sports" are nothing more then an attemp to make the Olympics less boring then they already are. Next they will include "Championship Back Yard Ass Sitting With Beer Bottle Curls".

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2 replies
flameshoter1111 kvnsdrm February 10 2014 at 4:51 PM

that sounds fun

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WADDLE05 kvnsdrm February 10 2014 at 6:26 PM

if you do not like it do not watch then complain about it fact is millions of people watch it thats why this is the 22nd time they are haveing it cuase yoy do not like something or think is not a sprots does not meant it no good last time i look hockey was is a sports bit part of the games

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eeodjo February 10 2014 at 2:29 PM

The latest news here is that the Summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro would add the sport of Golf. If so, will they allow the professional golfers into the mix?? I think NOT! It should be golf competitions among college golfers and amateurs. Leave out the Pros, who are making big money anyway. I like to watch the young and hungry amateurs duke it out.

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1 reply
rpthe1 eeodjo February 10 2014 at 7:53 PM

as long as pros are in any sport they should all be allowed. I'd like to see none at all

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ckevinbaldwin February 10 2014 at 12:17 PM

Its nice to see that the U.S. is doing well at the "GULAG GAMES!"

Appropriately called since the amenities and accommodations are closer to a prison camp than an Olympic Village.

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1 reply
Janusz Peciak ckevinbaldwin February 10 2014 at 12:23 PM

Please no politics at the Olympics,be positive.

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Bob Farrell February 10 2014 at 11:16 AM

what's next hacky sack?? And this after they want to drop wrestling from the Summer Olypmics!

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Anthony Robbin February 10 2014 at 11:07 AM

olympic beer drinking

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2 replies
supadave1255 Anthony Robbin February 10 2014 at 11:09 AM

Finally! A sport I have a chance of winning.

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Anthony Robbin Anthony Robbin February 10 2014 at 11:11 AM

followed immediately by the downhill, whoever makes it the farthest wins

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2 replies
Ms. Dragon Anthony Robbin February 10 2014 at 11:22 AM

How about down hill hurling? See who can throw up the farthest.

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Welcome SupaDave Anthony Robbin February 10 2014 at 12:14 PM

Do you have to stay on your skis?

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Ray and Virginia February 10 2014 at 10:32 AM

just enjoying what I'm watching on TV, Kids are realy putting on a good show

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chckpope February 10 2014 at 10:18 AM

It's pretty impressive watching these athletes, can't wait to see what they come up with next.

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ROBINHOOD February 10 2014 at 10:05 AM

Get someone besides NBC to broadcast the Olympics, they put on the Luge at 1:00 est and until then ice skating.

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3 replies
hispddrill February 10 2014 at 1:46 PM

Several months ago the IOC was contemplating removing wrestling from the Olympics, a traditional sport that appeared in the original Olympics, and is practiced all over the world.
in order to save expenses. Now the IOC wants to add more sports. They're as bad financially
planning as is the U.S. government.

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