Fenway Park to host big air skiing/snowboarding event (renderings)

Fenway Park Big Air
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Boston’s Fenway Park will host a big air skiing and snowboarding event from Feb. 11-12.

“Our intentions are to stage the biggest and best big-air competition in the history of the sport at Fenway Park,” USSA CMO Michael Jaquet said, according to Sports Business Daily.

NBCSN will air live coverage Thursday, Feb. 11, from 8:30-10 p.m. ET of the men’s and women’s snowboarding events and Friday, Feb. 12, from 9-10:30 p.m. of the men’s and women’s freeskiing events.

The big air ramp will be 110 feet high and run from center field to home plate, Jaquet said in a phone interview. For perspective, the Green Monster left-field wall is 37 feet high.

The seats above the Green Monster will be among those occupied by ticketed fans to watch the events, Jaquet said.

In big air, snowboarders and skiers do a single trick off a ramp similar to those seen on slopestyle courses.

Men’s and women’s snowboard big air will debut at the Olympics in Pyeongchang in 2018. Ski big air is not in the Olympic program.

Other big air events have been held at famous stadiums, including inside the Beijing 2008 Olympic Stadium, the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park (h/t @cattycomments) and outside the Rose Bowl.

Men’s snowboard big air has been part of the International Ski Federation’s World Championships since 2003, with Finland dominating, though Canada and the U.S. have fared well at the Winter X Games. Women’s big air debuted at the World Championships this year but hasn’t been added to the X Games yet.

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Here are renderings of what Fenway Park could look like come February:

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South Korea’s first gold medalist of 2018 PyeongChang Olympics to compete for China

Lim Hyo-Jun
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Lim Hyo-Jun, a short track speed skater who won South Korea’s first gold medal of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, has been cleared to skate for China and was reportedly named to the national team Monday.

Lim, who won the 1500m on the first day of medal competition at the PyeongChang Games, began the process of switching to China after a June 2019 incident where he pulled down a teammate’s trousers, leaving him standing, exposed, in front of female teammates.

Lim, the 2019 World overall champion, was banned from the team for a year and later found guilty of sexual harassment before the verdict was overturned on appeal.

It was reported in March 2021 that Lim was in the process of trying to gain Chinese nationality to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics, but Lim was not cleared to switch by the International Skating Union until this July. His Chinese name is Lin Xiaojun.

Another star South Korean skater, triple 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ahn Hyun-Soo, switched to Russia after not making the 2010 Olympic team. He then won three golds for the host nation as Viktor Ahn at the 2014 Sochi Games.

China’s national team for the upcoming season reportedly does not include veterans Wu Dajing, the nation’s lone gold medalist across all sports at the 2018 Olympics, and Fan Kexin, a three-time Olympic medalist.

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Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei
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World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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