Snowboarding

Jamie Anderson of the United States competes in the Women's Snowboard Slopestyle Finals during day two of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 9, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
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Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026

Snowboarding

Snowboarding

Snowboarding is a fun mix of surfing, skateboarding and skiing. It has become very popular as a winter sport, making its debut at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano. As we look forward to Milano Cortina 2026, here is everything you need to know about this sport.

Snowboarding

Competitions

Snowboard competitions in Milano Cortina 2026 will consist of 11 events:

  • Parallel giant slalom (male and female) 
  • Snowboard cross (male and female) 
  • Halfpipe (male and female) 
  • Slopestyle (male and female) 
  • Big air (male and female) 
  • Mixed team snowboard cross

At Milano Cortina 2026, the competitions will be held in Livigno, in Valtellina. 

Territory

Picture of Livigno. Click on the image to discover more about the area.
Livigno

Origins

Snowboarding was created in the United States in the 1960s, when social change and the search for greater freedom of expression, along with advances in equipment, led to the development of new ways to play sports on the snow. In the 1970s, the production of snowboards increased and the sport began to gain popularity across the board with the involvement of surfers and skateboarders. Snowboarders began to ‘invade’ ski resorts. In 1982, the United States held the first national championships and it hosted the first world championships in 1983. The International Snowboarding Federation (ISF) was formed seven years later and the International Ski Federation (FIS) introduced snowboarding as an FIS discipline in 1994.

Olympic History

Snowboarding first appeared in the Olympic programme at the 1998 Nagano Games, with the giant slalom and halfpipe events. Parallel giant slalom was added at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. At the 2006 Games in Turin, snowboard cross made its debut, followed by slopestyle in 2014 in Sochi and big air in 2018 in Pyeonchang. The most recent addition was mixed team snowboard cross at the 2022 Games in Beijing.

Basic Rules

In the halfpipe, competitors perform a series of stunts while snowboarding down a slope with a semi-cylindrical shape. They are scored on the breadth and difficulty of the jumps.

In the parallel giant slalom, two snowboarders ride down two parallel tracks at the same time. During the qualifiers, each competitor rides down the two tracks (blue and red) once. The two times are added together, and the 16 best combined times advance to the elimination rounds. The first in each group qualifies for the next round until reaching the finals.

In snowboard cross, timed qualifiers are held to determine the top 16 athletes, who compete in direct races between four athletes per group on a track with jumps, moguls, and wide curves. Each heat determines the best two athletes for the next round, until reaching the finals.

In the big air event, competitors use a ramp to make jumps and perform a series of aerial tricks.

In slopestyle, athletes snowboard down a course with different types of structures (rails, jumps) and are judged on the breadth, originality and quality of their tricks.

Curiosities about Italian Championships

Italian snowboarder Michela Moioli won Italy's first gold medal in snowboarding at the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang for the snowboard cross event. The first ever Italian Olympic snowboarding medal was won by Thomas Prugger, who won silver in the giant slalom at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano.

FAQ

Here are the answers to your questions.

  • Which male athlete has won the most medals in snowboard at the Olympics?

  • Which female athlete has won the most medals in snowboard at the Olympics?

  • Which countries have won the most medals at the Olympics?

  • Who are the Italian Olympic snowboard champions?

  • Where will the snowboarding competitions at Milano Cortina 2026 take place?

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