Although snowboarding is relatively new on the Olympic front, it is proving to be one of the most popular sports.
It debuted at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano with four events. Although he was briefly stripped of his medal over drug allegations, Canada’s Ross Rebagliati won the first giant slalom event.
JAPAN - FEBRUARY 08: Snowboarding: 1998 Winter Olympics, CAN Ross Rebagliati in action during compitition, Shiga Kogen, JPN 2/8/1998 (Photo by Bob Martin/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images) (SetNumber: X54438)
As the popularity of snowboarding has grown, so has its presence at the Winter Olympics. In 2006, snowboard cross made its debut. Seth Wescott of the USA is a two-time gold medal winner, with victories in 2006 and 2010.
BARDONECCHIA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 16: Seth Wescott of the United States of America wins the Gold Medal in the Mens Snowboard Cross Final on Day 6 of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games on February 16, 2006 in Bardonecchia, Italy. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
The women’s halfpipe has always garnered a lot of attention with its dynamic tricks and acrobatics. Six American athletes have earned a medal in the women’s halfpipe, more than any other nation. Hannah Teter is a two-time medalist with a gold in 2006 and silver in 2010.
Snowboarding: 2010 Winter Olympics: USA Hannah Teter (14) in action during Women's Snowboard Halfpipe Qualifying at Cypress Mountain. West Vancouver, Canada 2/18/2010 CREDIT: Robert Beck (Photo by Robert Beck /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images) (Set Number: X83542 TK1 R2 F165 )
One of snowboarding’s most recognizable athletes is Shaun White of the US. He’s a two-time gold medalist in the men’s halfpipe and holds the record for the highest score in the event with 48.4 points. On this final run at the 2010 Winter Olympics, he wowed spectators with a Double McTwist 1260.
USA's gold medalist Shaun White competes in the men's Snowboard Halfpipe final on February 17, 2010 at Cypress Mountain, north of Vancouver during the Vancouver Winter Olympics. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi will feature five snowboarding events for both men and women: halfpipe, parallel giant slalom, parallel slalom, slopestyle and snowboard cross. They’ll all take place at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 14: A general view of the track during the FIS World Cup Snowboard Half Pipe competition at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in Krasnya Polyana on February 14, 2013 in Sochi, Russia. Sochi is preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympics with test events across the venues. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
About Sandra Prusina
Sandra is a sports journalist based out of Calgary, Canada. She's covered three Olympic Games, as well as other sporting events across Canada.
You can follow her on Twitter at @sprusina
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