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Big Air

Big Air is an exciting discipline in the sport of freestyle skiing, which involves performing impressive aerial tricks and maneuvers off a massive jump. It is considered one of the most visually stunning and crowd-pleasing events in freestyle skiing. In Big Air competitions, skiers launch themselves off a specially designed ramp known as the "Big Air" or "Kicker," aiming to execute complex tricks while in the air.

The Basics

The Big Air jump is typically built with a steep run, a large takeoff, and a landing zone. Skiers gain speed and momentum by skiing down the run and then launch themselves into the air from the takeoff. The jump height can vary, but it is not uncommon for skiers to achieve heights of 60 feet (18 meters) or more.

Tricks and Techniques

In Big Air, skiers attempt a variety of tricks, incorporating spins, flips, grabs, and rotations. The complexity of tricks performed is a crucial aspect of scoring. Skiers showcase their technical skills and creativity, often combining multiple rotations and flips with grabs or tweaks to add style and difficulty to their maneuvers. Judges evaluate the execution, difficulty, style, amplitude (height), and landing of each trick to assign scores.

Scoring and Competition Format

Big Air competitions usually consist of qualifying rounds followed by a final round. In the qualifying round, each skier gets two runs, and the best score is counted. The top-scoring athletes advance to the final round, where they typically have three runs, and the best score determines the winner.

Scoring in Big Air competitions is based on a combination of factors. Judges assess the trick's difficulty, execution, style, and overall impression. Each trick is assigned a score out of 100, and the highest-scoring trick from each run contributes to the skier's total score. The competitor with the highest cumulative score at the end of the final round is declared the winner.

Evolution and Popularity

Big Air originated from the progression of freestyle skiing and snowboarding. It gained popularity as a discipline due to its visual appeal and the athletes' ability to perform jaw-dropping tricks. The sport's evolution led to increasingly intricate tricks, with skiers incorporating multiple flips and rotations, pushing the boundaries of what was once thought possible.

Big Air gained significant recognition when it was included as an Olympic discipline. It made its Winter Olympic debut in 2018 at the PyeongChang Games in South Korea. The inclusion of Big Air in the Olympics further elevated its status and brought it to a wider audience.

Big Air showcases the athleticism, creativity, and daring nature of freestyle skiing. It continues to captivate audiences around the world with its impressive tricks, high-flying action, and the incredible skills of the athletes who compete in this thrilling discipline.



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