The snow has yet to fall in eastern Idaho, but winter athletes have been tearing up the slopes in the Southern Hemisphere in recent months in preparation for the 2013 World Cup ski and snowboard season. The first ski events of the year (non World Cup), however, actually began six days earlier with the Freestyle Skiing Australian New-Zealand Continental Cup in Perisher, Australia. The last two weeks have been espeically important for halfpipe and slopestyle skiing, both of which make their Olympic debut at Sochi 2014.
The halfpipe skiing World Cup opener was August 22 in New Zealand, where Americans Torin Yater-Wallace and Devin Logan took the men’s and women’s titles, respectively. It was the first opportunity for halfpipe skiers to accumulate FIS points toward qualifying for Sochi 2014. Beginning Friday, slopestyle skiers will have their opportunity to to do the same at the End of the World Challenge in Ushuaia, Argentina. The event is also the first time a FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup competition has taken place in the Southern Hemisphere or in South America.
Snowboarding is also underway. Olympic and Winter X Games champion Kelly Clark won the first World Cup snowboarding event of the season on August 30 at Cardrona Alpine Ski Resort in New Zealand.
The following are good sites to follow the action: