Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Changing the Game of Womens Sport

Yesterday saw the launch of Nike's new sports exhibition, 'Changing the Game of Women's Sport', at the Blink Gallery in Soho. The exhibition is designed to celebrate the country's finest sportswomen highlighting their strength, passion and individuality. The exhibition has features on different female athletes from the entire sporting spectrum, including world championship 5000m Irish gold medallist Sonia O'Sullivan and sbowboard ace Zoe Gillings. The athletes were present at last weeks press launch (pictured below), and it is hoped the exhibition will do a lot to raise the profile of Women's sport in the U.K. and encourage more youngsters to follow in the footsteps of the stars. The exhibition runs from the 27th November until 7th December, so get yourself down there!

Above: Nike ACG Snowboarders Zoe Gillings and Rebecca Cullum, and all the athletes (top right).

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Permin the King of Style

This past weekend France's Rich Permin clinched a sensational victory over a top class field in the King of Style Big Air, at the 2007 Winter Jam in Stockholm. He narrowly beat Canada's TJ Schiller into top spot, with American Simon Dumont in third. Sammy Carlson and Oscar Sherlin finished 4th and 5th, with Jon Olsson back in 9th. Each of the riders had three jumps, with the best two jumps counting, but each of the two tricks had to be different, adding a little twist to the traditional big air format. Jumps were also judged on style, rather than simply technical difficulty.

Rich did not fall all weekend and was putting down all variety of tricks. He won the contest on his final jump, putting down the smoothest of smooth switch 720 double tail grab (Rich’s own grab - check out his Solden Sweet spot to see it in action) to move into the lead. His spin was so slow that it looked like a 360 and he went super big. TJ then did a 1260 and event though he landed well the judges did not rate it about Rich’s super styley 7.

Rich thus continued his fantastic start to the season following a 4th place in the for the second year running. He said, ‘Last year I finished second so it was great to be able to step it up and get my first international title under my belt, the $10,000 is great too!’

The event was a great success and with a big crowd, live TV and perfect conditions, and it's going to be tough for the organisers to do better next year, but we'll definitely be there to check it out!

1) Richard Permin
2) TJ Schiller
3) Simon Dumont
4) Sammy Carlson
5) Oscar Sherlin
6) Colby West
7) PK Hunder
8) Henrik Harlaut
9) Jon Olsson
10) Jacob Wester
11) Peter Olenick
12) Charles Gagnier

(Image from

IOC Youth Olympics: Candidate Cities Are Being Whittled Down

as reported by Sport Business...

The International Olympic Committee short listed five cities as Candidate Cities to host the first Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2010 - with Moscow seemingly heading the race.

The five cities - Athens, Bangkok, Moscow, Singapore and Turin - were chosen unanimously from the nine cities that submitted Candidature Files. Debrecen, Guatemala City, Kuala Lumpur and Poznan failed to make the cut.

According to the IOC, the selection of Candidate Cities was based on an analysis of the Bid Books submitted by the Applicant Cities, covering key Games factors such as venues, transport, accommodation, educational and cultural programmes and security.

Moscow was at the top of a list of applicants. The IOC scored each bid and Moscow emerged as a favourite - scoring highly in every category including accomodation, general infrastructure and the Olympic Village.

Moscow Mayor and the bid’s Chairman Victor Luzhkov said: “Today is the beginning of a decisive phase in our journey towards the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. We are committed to continue our hard work with dignity and respect to the Olympic Ideals. We know the other candidate cities are strong rivals and we have to remain focused. Moscow can and will contribute in making the first Youth Olympic Games a truly memorable and global event. We have a strong team, a detailed plan and the passion to materialise the dreams of millions of people”.

Deputy Mayor of Moscow and the bid’s CEO Valery Vinogradov said: “It is a great honour for Moscow to be selected as a Candidate City and we will do our best to prove that the IOC is right in choosing Moscow as a city that has the potential to host the first edition of the Youth Olympic Games. We remain confident that we will fully demonstrate Moscow’s unique proposal in the months to come”.

An IOC Evaluation Commission, chaired by IOC Executive Board member Sergey Bubka will now visit the five short listed cities, submitting its report to the IOC Executive at the end of January 2008.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Janne Rules In Stockholm

Janne Korpi led a Finnish clean sweep of the podium at the second round of the Nokia FIS Big Air in Stockholm. The 21 year-old Finn clinched victory with a spectacular Cab 1080 Nosegrab, relegating fellow countryman Risto Mattila to second place, with Sami Saarenpaa fighting off Slovenia's Domen Bizjak to come in third. It was the 2005 Halfpipe Junior World Champion's second Big Air victory, and third World Cup victory in all.

Korpi himself had not expected to make the Final against Mattila, after struggling somewhat in the qualification rounds: “I didn’t get along during the qualification. But just
after I changed my board for the K.O.-heats it was getting better and better. I’m super

In contrast, Mattila struggled to hide his disappointment in losing the final. The 2005 Big Air World Champion had put his stamp on the competition during qualification but struggled to maintain his form in the finals: “I’m disappointed with my riding because I wasn’t able to handle the landing at all,” he said.

Mattila was able to get away with being down after the first jump in both the quarter and semi finals, but after once again being down in the final, his luck ran out in the final against a by-then on form Korpi. He went on to say: “I wanted to have fun and enjoy my riding. I guess this is way I didn’t feel any pressure in the knock out duels. Janne deserves the victory today. He was doing very well!”

With his victory Kropi now head the World Cup standings, with fellow countryman Peetu Piiroinen, and Mattila third. Antii Autti, not present in Stockholm, is back in 7th.

Standings after 2 rounds:

1. 1184963 KORPI Janne FIN 400 1000 1400.0
2. 1184978 PIIROINEN Peetu FIN 1000 260 1260.0
3. 1668303 MATTILA Risto FIN 290 800 1090.0
4. 1184977 SAARENPAA Sami FIN 450 600 1050.0
5. 1184758 GIMPL Stefan AUT 800 240 1040.0
6. 1514901 MAURER Stephan SUI 500 290 790.0
7. 1184953 AUTTI Antti FIN 600 600.0
8. 7560008 BIZJAK Domen SLO 18.5 500 518.5
9. 9500006 NILSSON Jonathan SWE 450 450.0
10. 1424987 AANNESTAD Stian NOR 18.2 400 418.2
11. 9180005 LAIVISTO Juuso FIN 28 360 388.0
12. 1611461 RUHA Jaakko FIN 260 120 380.0
13. 9420002 HANSEN Kim-Rune NOR 360 18.8 378.8
14. 1404958 WAL, VAN DER Dolf NED 320 320.0
14. 9500062 GIDLUNDH Andreas SWE 320 320.0
16. 9510018 CAVIGELLI Gian-Luca SUI 110 200 310.0
17. 7560009 PETEK Matevz SLO 160 140 300.0
17. 1440353 MAUSSER Florian AUT 140 160 300.0
17. 7050153 FALKEIS Stefan AUT 150 150 300.0
20. 7510051 HALLER Christian SUI 180 90 270.0

Friday, November 16, 2007

There's hope yet: Rock & Roll

Fear not people, should we end up with nowt snow again this season (looking good so far I might add) there’s always some way of getting down the hill on a pair of planks…

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bumper Season in Prospect

Great news! It's dumping it down in Europe! That's right, this week has seen massive snow falls across much of Europe, with Austria in particular the main recipient. Kaprun is already boasting 250 cm on the upper slopes, and a fantastic 180 cm on the lower slopes, while Kitzbuhel and St Anton both have 150cm on the upper slopes as well! There are another 23 resorts across Austria that also have over a metre on their upper slopes. While other countries have not experienced quite so much, Verbier, Zermatt, Engelberg and Saas Fee are all looking great in Switzerland, so too Tignes in France, and also Livgno, Cervinia and Val Senales in Italy. To many of you this will be a godsend after the disastrous start to last season which saw warm temperatures and little snowfall, and just proves that all the talk of global warming's threat to the industry should not be taken as gospel. Bring on December!

Above: It's already looking great in St Anton

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Terje's Season Pass

News in from our friends at Friday (creators of the Sorsa Project and more recently Paddy Graham's Nike ACG Sweetspot) on their latest TV series...

BURLINGTON, VT (November 14, 2007) - Burton Snowboards and Friday Productions are pleased to announce the launch of their new TV co-production, Terje's Season Pass, starring Terje Haakonsen along with Nicolas Müller, Shaun White, Mads Jonsson and Kevin Pearce. The six-part TV series will air this January on major TV networks worldwide, including the world's leading action sports channel FUEL TV and Norway's largest broadcaster NRK.

Terje's Season Pass features snowboarding icon Terje Haakonsen as well as a talented group of Burton snowboarders as they ride some of the best mountains in the world, compete at events and live the life of modern-day professional snowboarders. What really happens on a heli-trip to British Columbia? What's going through Shaun White's mind as he drops-in in front of 30,000 screaming fans at the Air & Style? What is it like to travel with dog sleds and camp and snowboard in Greenland's harsh interior? Just how does Nicolas Müller make any type of terrain come alive? Terje's Season Pass takes an in-depth look at all of these scenes and many more, giving viewers a chance to watch the dramas, inside stories and key moments of the 2006/2007 winter snowboarding season.

Terje Haakonsen has this to say about the new show, "The show's story is very straight-forward: find good snow and shred it with friends. Jake's quiver of riders is so good, I would enjoy riding with any of them, but I really enjoyed riding and traveling with Nicolas, Mads, Shaun and Kevin. It was a strange season for snow, but we were lucky almost everywhere we went, and even when it was shitty, we had a laugh!"

"Traveling with Terje is always an experience and a lot of fun," said Jake Burton, Founder and Chairman, Burton Snowboards. "His riding is inspirational and his sense of humor is contagious. I know how excited all of those pros were to ride with 'the man'. I can't imagine how cool this TV series is going be ... I have my popcorn ready."

Shon Tomlin, FUEL TV VP of Programming and Development, says "Terje Haakonsen continues to be snowboarding's most celebrated living legend, and this unique series puts you front and center in his world. It's a rare look into the kind of access and adventures that play out in a winter with a world-class pro. Terje's Season Pass documents all angles in a way that hasn't been fully captured in the typical snowboard film or television series."

Terje's Season Pass will premiere on FUEL TV on Tuesday, 1/1/08 at 8:00pm ET/PT. Each of the episodes will then air on subsequent Tuesday nights at 8:00pm ET/PT. Re-airs will take place the following Sundays at 8:30pm ET/PT starting 1/6/08. The show will continue to air on FUEL TV throughout the winter.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The British Alpine Ski and Snowboard Team Official Launch

Wednesday 7th November saw the official launch of the British Alpine Ski and Snowboard Team at the Vue West End Cinema in Leicester Square.

It was an opportunity to meet the teams, find out about their ambitious plans for the season ahead and discover the strength and depth in British Snowsports. In addition, 2 new documentaries on the teams as well as an exclusive preview of the latest Warren Miller film, ‘Playground’, were aired.

The night was a great success, with a full cinema and several high profile attendees, including perhaps the two biggest names in British snowboarding, half-pipe king Dan Wakeham and boarder cross ace Zoe Gillings. For Dan the night had further significance because he was in fact himself commissioned to make the documentary on the snowboard team, which was received really well.

The event undoubtedly raised the profile of the British teams and hopefully ushered in what will be the most successful season for British Snowsports yet.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Youth Olympic Games Boil-Down to 9 Potential Host Cities—Skateboarding Possible Sport; Coca-Cola Pony’s-Up for Restoration of Ancient OlympiaSite

as reported bt Label Networks...

It’s come down to 9 potential cities that will be hosting the first ever Youth Olympic Games that will supposedly attract 3,500 athletes between the ages of 14-18, and bring relevancy and cool-factor back to the anachronistic International Olympic Committee (IOC) by 2010. The potential host cities that submitted candidacy by the October 26th deadline, include Athens, Greece, Bangkok, Thailand, Debrecen, Hungary, Guatemala City, Guatemala, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Moscow, Russia, Poznan, Poland, Singapore, Singapore, and Turin, Italy. These cities will be analyzed by a panel representing the Olympic Movement, with a final announcement for the host city to be announced this month on the 19th.

What’s interesting about this, however, is that the sports to be chosen for the Youth Olympic Games must be from the stable of 26 sports that are to appear in to 2012 Games in London. As we’ve written about previously, skateboarding is on that potential list, as well as BMX. However, since both sports, which rank high in our Global Youth Culture Studies, may be potential sports within the real Olympic Games in London 2 years later, and of course include athletes within the 14-18-year-old age range, it remains to be seen how this will dilute the real Olympics if the first time these popular sports appear is during the Youth Games and potentially with the same athletes.

It appears that the IOC may not have thought this through.

The Youth Olympic Games concept started this year when the IOC, in its attempts to reach a younger demographic and be more relevant in the future, sought out ways to increase its appeal to global youth culture. One brilliant idea was the creation of the supposedly youthful and hip 2012 logo for the London Games, which has not only been blasted globally for it’s bad design, but has been removed from some sites for causing seizures. The other concept was to possibly introduce skateboarding into the 2012 Games; and the final one, was the launch of the Youth Olympic Games for 14-18-year-olds. However, the IOC doesn’t yet “recognize” any skateboarding organizations and have turned to the International Cycling Union (UCI) to introduce the sport to the Games. The way this whole process works is that skateboarding has to first be umbrella-ed under a sport that the IOC does “recognize” from which that organization can then make a formal proposal to the IOC to include it into the Games. This process can take years, often includes frustration on the part of the athletes and industry trying to get the sport into the Games, not to mention the tension created from having two very distinct sporting lifestyles try to get along as they are pre-packaged together for the sake of “recognition” by the Olympics. Look at the snowboarding and skiing relationship as a reference.

London’s organizing committee of course is keen to have skateboarding on board and is pushing hard knowing that it will increase their cred-factor and global audiences. They even have a proposed location in the Olympic Park veladrome. And the UCI is keen to get skateboarding within their fold which will not only bolster cycling, but bring in money for their organization off the backs of skateboarding, thanks to their brethren with tiny wheels. However, if this popular sport first appears in the Youth Games, in say, a chosen city of Debrecen, Hungary, it will most certainly pop the bubble for London with the sport appearing in their big-daddy Olympics 2 years later.

While of course it’s important to know which city will host said Youth Olympic Games, what may be far more important is first to figure out what sports are going to be in the Youth version. Then, it might make more sense what city to host it in—one with perhaps a history of supporting “youthful” sports. Out of this list, only about 1 (Moscow) has such a reputation, and ironically, no city like say, San Diego or Los Angeles or Cleveland or Mexico City, that have hosted youth-oriented X Games events have even thrown their names into the pot. Which says something.

Finally, in other Olympic news, it sounds like Coca-Cola is doing a good thing: They’ve donated 2 million dollars to the Hellenic Olympic Committee towards restoring the ancient site of Olympia in Greece and the nearby forest which was struck by wildfire this summer. Coca-Cola is the longest running sponsor of the Olympics. Odds-on that this title goes to Mountain Dew for the Youth version.