Most Important Snowboarding Contests of the 2009/10 Season
With the 2010 Vancouver Olympics right around the corner, the 2009/2010 winter snowboard season is shaping up to be a big one for competitions. Pro Snowboard Athletes from around the world are looking to step up their game this year and show the world what they can do. Each year, as new blood enters the fold, the competition gets more intense as pro riders push themselves to the limit, giving an awe inspiring glimpse into the future of snowboarding.
With the number of events taking place this season, it’s easy to miss one or two competitions. The first event in the Burton Global Open Series (BGOS) was held in August in New Zealand and the European open finished up last week. Use this list of the most important snowboarding contests of the rest of the 2010 season as a guide so that you don’t miss a minute of the action from this years remaining events.
When: January 28-31, 2010
Where: Buttermilk Mountain, Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado
Why it’s important: The Winter X Games is the premier winter sports event. Athletes from around the world compete for medals and cash prizes in the events of Snowboarding, Skiing, and Snowmobile. The X Games has played an integral part in helping up-and-coming riders get the exposure and experience necessary to excel in their sport of choice. Shaun White, Nate Holland, Lindsey Jacobellis, Jenny Jones, Torah Bright, and Travis Rice all took home first place medals at the 2009 Winter X Games in the snowboard competitions.
When: February 2-7, 2010
Where: Olympic Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Why it’s important: The BGOS, as a whole, is a series of the most important snowboarding competitions in the world. At each stop, riders have the chance to earn points towards a championship title for both male and female competitors. Along with the title comes a cash prize, or “purse,” for the top three male and female competitors. The combined prize purse of over $800,000 is the largest prize given in any snowboarding competition. Chas Guldemond, for the men, and Jamie Anderson, for the women, look to defend their title as the reigning BGOS Champions.
When: February 15-27, 2010
Where: Whistler Resort, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Why it’s important: To put it simply, it’s the Olympics. Every serious, professional athlete that ever exists trains their entire life to compete in the Olympic Games. Receiving a gold medal at the Olympics is one of the only ways to show the entire world that you are the absolute best at what you do. Shaun White, Hannah Teter, and Seth Wescott each took home a gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics. With the number of exceptional athletes entering this year’s events, there’s no telling who will bring home the gold.
When: March 2-7, 2010
Where: ALTS Bandai, Japan
Why it’s important: Just like the Canadian Open, the Asian Open is another stepping stone along the path of the Burton Global Open Series. The points earned at the Asian Open will be added to the points earned at the previous 3 opens in New Zealand, Europe, and Canada. As the events draw to a close, riders give all they’ve got to further solidify their place in the rankings. With the conclusion of first two events in the series, Christian Haller, for Burton Snowboards, and Sarka Pancochova, for Flow Snowboards, lead the pack for cumulative points for the men and women.
When: March 16-21, 2010
Where: Stratton Mountain Resort, Vermont, New England, USA
Why it’s important: The US Open is the final event in the BGOS. The points awarded at this event help determine the male and female athlete that will be crowned as the season’s champion. If you haven’t seen the first four events in the series, the US Open is the one you don’t want to miss. Usually, the first four competitions in the series give a good indicator as to who will take home the crown. However, an unfortunate injury, or a really bad day on the mountain, can be enough to knock anyone from the top position.
Whether you have a chance to see every event, or just the Olympics this year, you’re sure to find plenty of action and unbelievable athleticism as today’s top athletes battle it out to be recognized as the world’s best snowboarder. Be sure to check out the Sierrasnowboard.com forum section before, and after, the events as there’s bound to be plenty of discussion regarding this year’s competitions.
Photo Credit: Ryan Hughes for snowboardermag.com. Torah Bright wins 1st place in the Women's Superpipe Event at the 2009 Winter X Games.