Boardercross :: Next Generation Racing for Gold
What do you get when you combine dirt bike racing, NASCAR and snowboarding? The full medal Olympic sport of Boardercross, of course.
What is Boardercross?Boardercross as it is usually called (often shortened to Boarder-X or BX), or Snowboard Cross as the more serious people at the International Ski Federation refer to it, is a relatively new form of racing that combines elements of snowboarding, BMX racing, NASCAR and skateboarding. It debuted at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino as a full medal sport, and its popularity and obvious suitability for the Games assures it will appear again at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.
How does it work?
A group of boarders (usually four) race over a course that includes sharp turns, gap jumps, huge drops, intense moguls and steep peaks and valleys in an effort to test how well the riders can maintain control through the various obstacles, while trying to hold off their fellow racers. Until they reach the finish line, racers are regularly bumped out of place, like NASCAR drivers, and have to fight to hold onto their positions, lanes and balance.
Where did it come from? How long has it been around? Who invented it?
In the spring of 1991, Steve Rechtschaffner and Greg Stump staged the first ever boarder cross races at Blackcomb Mountain in British Columbia as part of Stump’s extreme sports show for FOX-TV. The race was such a success that the sport, named “Boarder Cross" by Stump’s associate John Graham, soon spread across North America. This new and thrilling form of racing, which essentially combines the action of snowboarding within the contours of a dirt bike track, spread at a rate so fast that only 15 years later the race would be in included as part of the Winter Olympics, making it among the youngest sports ever admitted to the most prestigious athletic competition in the world.
Who are the best Boardercrossers in the world?
In 2006 in Torino, boardercross, (they call it Snowboard Cross at the Olympics), debuted as a full medal sport. The race winners on the mountains of Italy show the sport’s adoption throughout the globe: medals went to riders from to Canada, the U.S., Slovakia, France and Switzerland. The men’s gold went to Seth Wescott of the United States; the women’s top prize was taken home by Swiss rider Tanja Frieden.