Scoggins: Taking the Olympics to Xtremes

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 24, 2014 - 7:27 AM

The most fun to be had is at the Extreme Park, where the Olympic tradition gets a jolt of athletic youth.

view larger photos

  

– It took nearly the entire Olympiad, but I finally found the happiest and hippest spot at these Games. It’s Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, home of Olympic snowboarding, nestled in the Caucasus Mountains.

Why here, you ask?

Because the guy in the knit hat shaped like a smaller version of Marge Simpson’s hair didn’t seem out of place. Neither did the older woman who rang her cowbell incessantly. Or the Russian bagpipe ensemble that rocked the crowd with some AC/DC.

How cool is this vibe? The dance music never stops, a DJ works the mike and, at one point Saturday, a group of break dancers showed off their moves in the grandstand.

“This is snowboarders,” said Brenda Reiter, whose son Justin competed in two snowboarding events for the U.S. “That’s how we roll.”

The Olympics are coming along for the (wild) ride. In a calculated effort to stay fresh and attract a younger viewing audience, the International Olympic Committee has welcomed extreme sports disciplines to its programming with open arms.

The IOC added 12 new events in these Olympics, and most of them would qualify as being gnarly. The U.S. tends to do well in extreme action sports, and its snowboarders contributed five medals (three gold) to the total count.

Snowboarding’s continued growth in mainstream appeal has made it a popular Olympic sport and brought new eyeballs to the Games. Traditionalists might not appreciate a well-executed double cork 1080, but the IOC isn’t about to try to put toothpaste back into the tube.

The shift in philosophy resonated as IOC sports director Christophe Dubi held a joint news conference with men’s snowboarding slopestyle gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg earlier in these Games.

“We need to have and to preserve our history,” Dubi said. “At the same time, we have to remain relevant and make sure that we capture new audience as well.”

Responded Kotsenburg: “We were all stoked to be in the Olympics. I think the world needed to see slopestyle because snowboarding is a different sport than figure skating or gymnastics. We’re all really different and individual people, and this is what the kids are doing nowadays.”

Snowboarders have brought new energy and big personalities to the Olympics. These guys and gals are a hoot. U.S. snowboarder Danny Davis provided an honest answer when asked how he and his teammates spend their free time in the Olympic Village.

“We’ve been shredding and taking care of our bodies ... we’ve been drinking beer,” he said.

Russian Alexey Sobolev wrote his phone number on his helmet and received about 2,000 responses, including nude pictures from female admirers.

“I always have really crazy ideas,” he said. “I’m enjoying the consequences.”

Then there’s 33-year-old Justin Reiter, who lived in the back of his pickup truck in Park City, Utah, for several months last summer in order to save money so that he could focus strictly on his training and not need to earn a paycheck.

Reiter trained eight hours a day and then crashed in his truck at night. A camper top covering the bed of his truck provided shelter. He tried parking overnight at a local Wal-Mart, but that lasted only two days.

“It was a little bit noisy,” he said. “With all the deliveries they get at night, you had the constant beeping from the semis so that didn’t work out too well.”

  • related content

  • USOC chief calls Sochi Games a success for American athletes

    Saturday February 22, 2014

    Americans have won 27 medals, including nine gold.

  • After early skepticism, Games evolved into a success

    Saturday February 22, 2014

    SOCHI, RUSSIA – During the runup to the Sochi Winter Games, it seemed the conversation revolved around everything but sports....

  • Afton's Diggins finishes 40th in 30K freestyle

    Saturday February 22, 2014

    The skier from Afton finished 40th, dealing with 40-degree temperatures.

  • Notes from Sochi: South Korea protests over Kim's skating silver

    Saturday February 22, 2014

    South Korea protests over Kim’s silverThe South Korean Olympic Committee has protested the results of the women’s figure skating competition,...

  • Vic Wild, an American who skis for Russia, believe it or not, won the gold medal in the men’s parallel slalom Saturday.

  • Vic Wild of Russia celebrated in front of the crowd of mostly Russians at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park after winning the gold medal in the men's parallel slalom.

  • Julia Dujmovits of Austria won the women’s parallel slalom.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 8
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 2
Philadelphia 3 Bottom 8th Inning
Oakland 0
Toronto 5 Top 8th Inning
NY Yankees 2
Arizona 1 Bottom 8th Inning
Colorado 5
Boston - R. De La Rosa 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Cosart
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Cleveland - T. House 6:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Seattle - C. Young 6:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Wacha
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
Utah 26 Delayed 7:51
Michigan 10
Louisville 28 3rd Qtr
FIU 3
North Carolina 27 3rd Qtr 2:35
East Carolina 49
Army 21 4th Qtr 0:58
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 19 4th Qtr 9:48
(21) BYU 34
(6) Texas A&M 58 4th Qtr 4:01
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 4th Qtr 5:26
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 4th Qtr 12:22
Kansas 17
Florida 21 4th Qtr 14:47
(3) Alabama 35
San Jose St 7 Delayed 11:38
Minnesota 17
Texas State 14 Delayed 13:35
Illinois 6
Fla Atlantic 19 4th Qtr 8:14
Wyoming 17
Indiana 17 3rd Qtr 1:17
(18) Missouri 17
Massachusetts 7 4th Qtr 11:59
Penn State 48
Georgia State 0 2nd Qtr
Washington 0
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 0 2nd Half 44:55
Portland 1
Houston 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
New England 6:30 PM
Columbus
San Jose 6:30 PM
Montreal
Seattle 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
D.C. 7:30 PM
Chicago
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close