Thursday, January 28, 2010

In the New York Times article, “Freestylers Are Uptight About Keeping Clothes Loose,” 1/28/10, Matt Higgins writes about the generally accepted attire for the sport of ski cross and snowboard cross. The sport includes multiple people incorporating freestyle disciplines racing down a course but when speed is the goal unordinary equipment becomes used and many critics seem to feel that the sport is straying from the stylistic sensibilities that it originated from in order to gain an advantage. Since the sport is now incorporated into the Olympics, where medals and competitive reward are at risk, some competitors are turning to a more streamline look in order to shave off seconds while others argue that this practice goes against the aesthetic roots and fairness of the sport.
Ski-X and Snowboard-X incorporate both natural terrain and constructed obstacles which the course builder imagines. The fact that the goal of the sport is to be the fastest one down the course lends to the argument that the competitor can use whatever they can find to gain an advantage. However since the course itself has natural terrain in it, a stricter set of rules regulating the clothes that competitors are able to wear are becoming necessary. As long as racers follow the regulations set forth and come to a census, there should be no constraints on what they can wear. A competition is defined by the rules it sets and if the sport is going to be competed at the world level where monetary endorsements and prestige are on the line, a strict set of rules and other regulations need to be defined and agreed upon.

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