Slopestyle event features style, creativity


Slopestyle event features style and creativity

KALISPELL, Mont. - Whitefish's Maggie Voisin, at age 15, will be competing in the slopestyle event in the freeskiing category.

She's the youngest U.S. athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics since 1972, and will be competing in the youngest Olympic event in Sochi next month.

The Whitefish native was selected on Tuesday by the U.S. freeski team coach as one of only four to represent the U.S. in the slopestyle freeski event.

"The slopestyle is really the zenith of that where it really is the highlight of all the freestyle skiing where it incorporates the rails and the boxes, it incorporates the jumps.  It really gives the skier or rider the opportunity to show all of their skills in various terrain park features," said Josh Knight, the terrain park manager at Whitefish Mountain.

Knight has been helping design at create the parks for over 10 years.

He remembers Voisin competing at competitions at the mountain and likes her chances at the games.

"She has for many years won all of our rail jams and slopestyles in our categories.  She competed, dominated her divisions and showed she can compete with anybody and I think now she's on the worldwide stage where she can do just that," said Knight.

Slopestyle was first seen at the Winter X-Games, a yearly skiing and snowboarding competition.

Here's how it works. A skier or snowboarder is set at the top of a run or slope, and along the run, there are various rails, jumps and boxes for the rider to do a trick on. At the end of the run, each rider is awarded a score from a judge, who bases their score on various aspects of the riders run from style, to ability, to creativity on the various tricks they did. Riders get two runs, and take their best score against all of the other competitors.

"Each one of these skiers and riders has the ability to showcase their own individual styles, their own individual takes and impressions on the sport.  And in doing so they've been able to really express themselves on individual features," said Knight.

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