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Discussion Starter #1
- Witness the recent American female snowboarder who was far and away ahead in her gold medal run and just had to do an needless "trick" near the end. She fell and was passed up for the gold!

- Media reports report on the counterculture surrounding the "sport" - A whole different associated language, clothing styles not related to sporting function, etc.

- Gold medal winner interviewed:
Commentator: "How did you prepare for your event?"
Snowboarder: "I chilled out, ate some vegetarian food, and drank some maple syrup!"
 

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Didn't most sports begin in that way. I know bobsledders 50 years ago used to hear the same thing. As competition heated up they become much more serious in trainign and competition.
 

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this thread really belongs in the Black Hole, but...
I'd call them real athletes. you try doing some of the things they are capable of doing on half-pipes or racing on snowcross courses. I've tried snowboarding. it is HARD. I've been skiing all my adult life, and putting one plank on my feet over two gave me a new-found respect for those who make it look easy! yeah, hard-core snowboarders try to set themselves up as a counterculture to the mainstream - but how many others in society do the same thing...???

the thing I think we need to question of the US woman was her need to show off and be a friggin' hotdog. she lost gold because of her need to feed her ego. here's hoping she learns a valuable life lesson from acting like T.O. - just because you're winning doesn't mean you need to rub everyone's noses in it.
 

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Well, you can't call Curling a sport and say snowboarding isn't. Unfortunately, snowboarding still has yet to shed it's "bad-kid" image. Now there's freestyle skiing that's mimicing snowboarding and they're growing into that image as well.

So yes, it's a sport. Just because people are lazy doesn't mean they don't train. Bode Miller drinks at night and doesn't do training runs, so what's the difference if somebody psyches themselves up by eating some food and vegging?
 

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dictionary.com said:
ath·lete n.

A person possessing the natural or acquired traits, such as strength, agility, and endurance, that are necessary for physical exercise or sports, especially those performed in competitive contexts.
So, to answer the question: Yes.

Snowboarding is the only olympic event I find remotely interesting to watch. They are athletes in every sense of the word, and work very hard at what they do. I'm sure they put in just as much effort as that guy dancing around on the ice pretending to be James Bond.
 

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I concur, they are athletes. Being an athlete is only about physical conditioning and specialization. The "event" is not a sport in my opinion; it is a competition, but being judged instead of empirically measured puts it on the same level as figure skating for me. I couldn't give a rats ass how many whirly gigs they pull off, because it's only interesting when they fall!

That would make curling a sport. Even foosball and darts are sports IMHO.
 

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psm0110 said:
That would make curling a sport. Even foosball and darts are sports IMHO.
I have three criteria for what constitutes a sport 1) It must be some form of competition 2) It requires the competitor to be an athlete to compete effectively and 3)the outcome of the competition is (mostly)objectively determined, whether by time, place finishing in direct competeition, or a score(runs, goals, touchdowns etc).

examples of each

Sports:baseball,football, soccer,tennis, hockey, downhill skiing,bike racing, track and field, swimming etc.

Games of skill: Golf, bowling, foosball, darts, curling,PS2, racecar driving etc. generally meet requirements 1 and 3, but not 2 (some people may argue about race car driving)

Athletic competitions: Figure skating, diving, ice dancing, cheerleading,synchronized swimming,ballroom dancing, gymnastics, freestyle skiing/snowboarding, etc, These events meet requirements 1 and 2 , but not 3. These competitors can definitely be world class athletes, but the events are not "real" sports.This doesn't mean these events aren't worthwhile or entertaining. They have merit to stand on there own , without having to be considered a "sport"
 

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Discussion Starter #12
While it seems nobody else sees this event as any less a pure athletic pursuit compared to other winter olympic events, I'll admit that I have somewhat of an agenda and a chip on my shoulder about the subject. Snowboarding seems to have grown out of nowhere and to my analysis, has more connection with skateboarding than other winter sports. As seen with the recent failed gold run, "Tricks" seem to be too much of an element in the competitions. Youth are gravitating more and more to the snowboarding "sport" instead of skiing and the United States is slowly losing a talent base in the long standing winter olympic alpine events. While I myself do not ski (My track coaches in high school and college forbid me to ski in fear that I would break a leg just before the beginning of the track season!), my Norwegian family has deep roots in skiing. My mother's cousin, Birger Ruud, earned gold medals in the 1932 & 1936 winter olympics and the bronze in 1948 in ski jumping. His brother Gunnar Ruud competed in cross country skiing events in 1932 and 1936.
 

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JayTheSnork said:
really? ride a horse at full tilt sometime. :poke: it'll wear you out.
I am sure being a good jockey takes a great amount of skill , but it doesn't seem to require exceptional speed, strength, endurance, agility etc. compared to a normal, fit individual on the street (not an overweight, out of shape blob such as myself)
 

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BobV said:
While it seems nobody else sees this event as any less a pure athletic pursuit compared to other winter olympic events, I'll admit that I have somewhat of an agenda and a chip on my shoulder about the subject. Snowboarding seems to have grown out of nowhere and to my analysis, has more connection with skateboarding than other winter sports. As seen with the recent failed gold run, "Tricks" seem to be too much of an element in the competitions.
How about mogul skiing? Snowboarding tricks could have just as easily evolved out of moguls. The entire competition is judged on your technical merit, and adding tricks was just another step in its evolution.
 

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BobV said:
Youth are gravitating more and more to the snowboarding "sport" instead of skiing and the United States is slowly losing a talent base in the long standing winter olympic alpine events.
Man, I don't know how to react against your entire post. I've been boarding for 16+ years (I'm a week away from the age of 30). Who gives a flying f*&$ if people want to snowboard instead of ski. Is it bad if the sport is more enjoyable for people? I understand you have a chip on your shoulder, which, in my opinion, is quite comical since you don't participate in either sport! Just because one sport has been going on longer than the other doesn't give it any more weight over others. It's simply that, just another sport that has been voted to be included in the winter olympics.

Some people choose to make poor judgements during their event (case in point the woman who was show-boating and lost the gold) but it's not simply isolated to that one sport.

In my opinion, the whole boarder cross format sucks. It should be like they do at the Mt. Baker banked slalom. Individually timed events down a long course. None of this stupid multi-rider crap on the same course at the same time. It introduces way too much risk to a rider's time when the course is that crowded over such a short distance.

I had a feeling this thread would descend to this.
 
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