2018 Olympics: Big Air Skiing Brings Thrills For Participant & Spectators

(Credit:Mary Blake WBZ NewsRadio1030)

WESTFORD, MA (WBZ-AM) -- While there are the tried and true Olympic winter sports like skiing and skating, there are dozens of other sports that have come up short. Sled-dog racing and  snow-shoeing  are two examples. 

One of the new competitions is called Big Air, and it means big thrills for participants and spectators alike. Pam Fletcher is a downhill ski racer who was on the Olympic team in 1988. 

She is now Marketing Director at Nashoba Valley Ski area in Westford. 

"They've already forecasted that a lot of the athletes will be throwing bigger tricks and newer tricks than people have ever seen before and that alone is very exciting for the sport," she says. 

 Fletcher adds that Big Air's big names include Jamie Anderson and Shaun White with Team USA. She advises spectators to pay close attention to Mark McMorris of Canada.  

"He threw a trick which is four full rotations as well as three off- axle dips, which is called a frontside triple cork, which is just insane," she says. 

 Exactly what does that mean and what is Big Air,exactly? 

Joe Kruglak is Nashoba Valley's Train Park Director.  

"They build a jump. It's forecasted to be 49 meters long so there's a jump, the negative space in the middle with a big landing on the end and everyone goes in really really fast, goes off the jump and can do upwards of three flips and five rotations," he explains. 

Winners are decided in scoring the best two out of three jumps. 

Dual Alpine Racing is another new event this year.  Andrew Lanier of Groton, who races at Nashoba, is a fan. 

"Going down next to somebody, right down, right beside you is a huge adrenaline rush," he says.   Fletcher says  there's nothing that compares to skiing.  

"You feel like you're floating down the mountain.  It's, it's an exhilaration that I can't really find or touch in any other sport that I've ever participated in," she explains.   

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Mary Blake reports.

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