Blog: Freestyle Skiing — Beginners and Veterans Team Up to Present “Acrobatics on Snow”

Editor’s note: California-born Eileen Gu won a gold medal Tuesday in the women’s big air freeskiing event, earning China its third gold medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics. Gu threw his first “1620”, a round of four and a half rotations, in the final run. As one of the most prominent sports stars in China, his victory caught everyone’s attention.

Freestyle skiing is known as “snow acrobatics”.

The Chinese delegation has won one gold, six silver and four bronze in previous Olympic freestyle skiing events. During these Winter Olympics, the delegation brought together freestyle skiing veterans like Xu Mengtao and rookies like Eileen Gu, 18, who is competing in the Olympics for the first time.

Freestyle skiing is similar to figure skating. Scoring is determined by the artistic effect of performance and competition skills, which requires athletes to have good balance and air control ability. In 1992, moguls became an official event of the Winter Olympics, and other freestyle skiing events were added in subsequent years.

The movements of freestyle skiing are quite complex. Basically, every move humans can imagine making in the air is included. A variety of jumps, twists and inversions provide athletes with the most “freedom” in their aerial performance.

Team China’s Gu performs during a practice ahead of the women’s Freeski Big Air freestyle skiing final on day four of the 2022 Winter Olympics February 8 in Beijing. Photo: CGV

Zhang Xinping and Yang Zhanwu are co-editors of the “Fun With Winter Olympics” book series published by Sun Yat-sen University Press.

This article is partly excerpted from the book series, Xinhua News Agency and PLA Daily.

Translated by Ma Kaiwen and reviewed by Guo Cong. (Both are from the School of International Studies at Sun Yat-sen University)

Contact Editor Joshua Dummer ([email protected])

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