With ski and snowboard slopestyle and ski halfpipe debuting at the 2014 Sochi Games, it’s getting difficult to tell where the X-Games end and the Olympics begin. Now the International Ski Federation (FIS) is considering pushing for Big Air to be added to the 2018 Peyeongchang Games.
“These are conversations being had at a committee level, but there is a push for Big Air,” Michael Spencer, co-founder of the Association of Freeskiing Professionals, told ESPN.com about the negotiations. “If athletes like the idea, what kind of formatting would they want? There are a lot of moving parts that would need to be figured out.”
The discussion was tabled until the FIS could speak with athletes, but one competitor, freeskier Sammy Carlson, said he was all for adding Big Air to the Olympics to grow the sport, but wanted to make sure its addition didn’t dilute the it significance and popularity during the four years between Games.
Steve Langton, who was described by driver Steven Holcomb as the “best push athlete in the world,” announced his retirement today.
A collegiate sprinter and jumper at Northeastern University, Langton decided to try bobsledding after watching the 2006 Winter Olympics. He filled out an online athlete resume, and, by the 2010 Games, he was an Olympian.
At the Sochi 2014 Games, Langton teamed with Holcomb to win a bronze medal in the two-man race. It was the first Olympic medal in the event by American sled since 1952. He claimed another bronze medal as a member of Holcomb’s four-man “Night Train.”
“In Sochi I competed on the world’s biggest stage, I won two medals for my country and I did so along not only the best teammates but best friends anyone could ever ask for,” Langton told USA Bobsled.
Langton, who has a 62-inch standing box jump and can squat more than 500 pounds, was described by Men’s Health as “the most powerful winter Olympian” in the lead-up to 2014 Games.
“[Langton’s] work ethic and discipline rubbed off on the other athletes and made everyone better,” said USA Bobsled & Skeleton Chief Executive Officer Darrin Steele. “I have no doubt that he’ll find success in the next chapter of his life as well.”
Langton appeared on “The Amazing Race” in 2015 with his girlfriend, Aly Dudek, an Olympic short track speedskater.
None of the push athletes on the current U.S. roster have Olympic experience. Holcomb will compete in the World Cup opener this Saturday with Sam McGuffie, a former University of Michigan football player. The race will be McGuffie’s World Cup debut.