Some major air at city’s new public square

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Some major air at city’s new public square

By Jason Kim
The FIS Snowboard World Cup Big Air competition rarely travels to locales outside of Europe and North America, making the choice of Seoul as the host city this year all the more impressive for Korea.

But just as intriguing is the actual venue. The competition’s opening ceremony kicks off tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Gwanghwamun Square, one of Seoul’s newest and grandest public areas. Located in the heart of the city, the massive square opened earlier this year amid much fanfare. The snowboard event will be one of its first large international gatherings.

Organizers of the competition, which runs through Sunday, have erected a ski jump that measures 34 meters high and 100 meters long (111.5 feet and 328 feet long) on the north end of the square between the King Sejong and Admiral Yi Sun-sin statues.

Several events including concerts, a lights show and a snowboard show will be held tomorrow and Saturday, with the actual competitions taking place on Sunday.

In the qualifying and final rounds, competitors will soar down the ski jump before taking off from a platform set at a 25- to 30-degree angle, reaching heights of up to five or six meters in the air.

A panel of judges will grade each jump on a scale of 10 using several criteria, including difficulty, height, length and landing. Each competitor is allowed three jumps, with the best two performances used for the final tally.

The International Ski Federation has held the event in big cities across Europe in the past - including London, England - as well as in North America. Organizers chose Seoul for this year’s event at a general meeting on Oct. 25 in Zurich, Switzerland.

The event will feature some of the best snowboarders and top performers in the World Cup finals. Stefan Gimpl of Austria, a three-time World Cup champ, and Markku Koski of Finland as well as other world-class snowboarders are among the big names that will participate.

Gimpl will be the man to watch, as he has been dominant in competitions this year. After placing third at the World Snowboard Championships in Pyeongchang, Gangwon in January, Gimpl went on to place first in five consecutive big air competitions this year.

Snowboard fans might recognize Koski from the World Snowboard Championships held earlier this year in Pyeongchang. Koski placed first in the big air event and sixth in the half-pipe competition.

Korea will feature two athletes in the final FIS snowboard event of the season: Kwon Dae-won and Lee Yong-ho. Kwon competed in two events this year, placing 18th in the big air competition in Pyeongchang in January and 15th in slopestyle at the The Remarkables event in Australia and New Zealand in August.jason@joongang.co.kr

---------The FIS Snowboard World Cup Big Air competition rarely travels to locales outside of Europe and North America, making the choice of Seoul as the host city this year all the more impressive for Korea.

But just as intriguing is the actual venue. The competition’s opening ceremony kicks off tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Gwanghwamun Square, one of Seoul’s newest and grandest public areas. Located in the heart of the city, the massive square opened earlier this year amid much fanfare. The snowboard event will be one of its first large international gatherings.

Organizers of the competition, which runs through Sunday, have erected a ski jump that measures 34 meters high and 100 meters long (111.5 feet and 328 feet long) on the north end of the square between the King Sejong and Admiral Yi Sun-sin statues.

Several events including concerts, a lights show and a snowboard show will be held tomorrow and Saturday, with the actual competitions taking place on Sunday.

In the qualifying and final rounds, competitors will soar down the ski jump before taking off from a platform set at a 25- to 30-degree angle, reaching heights of up to five or six meters in the air.

A panel of judges will grade each jump on a scale of 10 using several criteria, including difficulty, height, length and landing. Each competitor is allowed three jumps, with the best two performances used for the final tally.

The International Ski Federation has held the event in big cities across Europe in the past - including London, England - as well as in North America. Organizers chose Seoul for this year’s event at a general meeting on Oct. 25 in Zurich, Switzerland.

The event will feature some of the best snowboarders and top performers in the World Cup finals. Stefan Gimpl of Austria, a three-time World Cup champ, and Markku Koski of Finland as well as other world-class snowboarders are among the big names that will participate.

Gimpl will be the man to watch, as he has been dominant in competitions this year. After placing third at the World Snowboard Championships in Pyeongchang, Gangwon in January, Gimpl went on to place first in five consecutive big air competitions this year.

Snowboard fans might recognize Koski from the World Snowboard Championships held earlier this year in Pyeongchang. Koski placed first in the big air event and sixth in the half-pipe competition.

Korea will feature two athletes in the final FIS snowboard event of the season: Kwon Dae-won and Lee Yong-ho. Kwon competed in two events this year, placing 18th in the big air competition in Pyeongchang in January and 15th in slopestyle at the The Remarkables event in Australia and New Zealand in August.


By Jason Kim [jason@joongang.co.kr]
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