Snowboarding at PyeongChang 2018

Venues: Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre, Phoenix Snow Park

Competition Dates: February 10-16, 19, 21-24 (Days 1-7, 10, 12-15)

Events: 10 (5 men, 5 women)

In the parallel giant slalom, two riders race head-to-head through series of gates down two parallel courses labeled red and blue. In the qualification round, each rider does a run on each of the red and blue courses. The two times are added together and the 16 fastest riders advance to the elimination finals. In the elimination rounds, both riders get a chance to race each of the courses in their head-to-head matchup. The loser of the first run starts the second run with a time delay equal to the time deficit from the first run, therefore the rider that wins the second run advances to the next phase. Eliminations continue until two riders are left to race in the Big Final for gold and silver while the two riders they defeated in the semifinals race in the Small Final for bronze.


In halfpipe, one rider performs at a time in a sloped half-cylinder of snow. Their routine includes acrobatic flips, spins and airs, moving back from one wall to another. Riders are judged on the variety, difficulty, style and execution of their maneuvers, including the amplitude they achieve above the walls, the cleanliness of their landings and the form in the air. During each phase of competition, each rider performs two routines but only the highest-scoring one counts towards the results.

Snowboard Halfpipe

In snowboard cross, riders race in packs over a course featuring a variety of terrain including jumps, berms, rollers and other obstacles. The competition begins with a qualification round in which riders race individually against the clock. All riders get two runs with only the fastest one being used to determine the top 48 men and top 24 women who advance to the elimination finals. During the finals, riders race in heats of six with the top three in each heat advancing to the next phase until six riders remain to race in the Big Final for the medals.

Carle Brenneman (yellow) grabs air during a World Cup race. (Photo: Canadian Press)

In slopestyle, riders go down a course comprised of various obstacles such as hips, jumps, rails, and boxes. Judges evaluate the runs for their overall composition, including the sequence, difficulty, style and execution of the tricks, the amount of risk in the routine (including the amplitude achieved) and how the rider uses the course. During each phase of competition, each rider does two runs but only the highest-scoring one counts towards the results.

Spencer O'Brien. Photo: The Canadian Press

The big air features riders performing a single trick jump. Travelling down a long ramp, they kick into the air to attain maximum height and distance before securing a clean landing. Tricks are evaluated by a panel of judges for their difficulty, style and execution. Competition begins with a qualification round. After one round of jumping, the highest scoring riders advance direct to the final, while the remaining competitors are given one more chance to move on. In the final, each rider takes three runs with the two highest scoring runs combined to determine the overall results.

Canada's Antoine Truchon competes to place second at the Snowboard World Cup men's Big Air event in Moscow, Russia, on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Canadian History (Pre-PyeongChang 2018)

With seven medals in only five Olympic Games, Canadian snowboarders have made their names, and snowboards, well-known.

Canada’s first snowboard medal came at Nagano 1998, when the sport made its first Olympic appearance. It would be Ross Rebagliati who captured the gold in the men’s giant slalom.

At Turin 2006, Dominique Maltais won the bronze medal in the women’s snowboard cross competition. Her teammate and top-seeded Maëlle Ricker unfortunately crashed at the beginning of the final, placing fourth.

Dominique Maltais

Four years later at Vanvouver 2010, Ricker capitalized on the opportunity to win an Olympic gold medal, becoming the first Canadian woman to win Olympic gold on home soil.

Other standouts in Vancouver were Jasey-Jay Anderson, who seized the gold medal in the men’s parallel giant slalom, and Mike Robertson who won the silver medal in men’s snowboard cross.

Most recently at Sochi 2014, Canadian snowboarders took home two medals. Maltais captured her second Olympic medal in women’s snowboard cross, this time a silver medal. Mark McMorris won a bronze medal in the men’s slopestyle while competing with a broken rib.