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Countdown to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games

Visa Big Air Presented By Toyota Kicks Off in Steamboat

By Annie Fast
November, 30 2021
U.S. Snowboard Team Rider Jake Canter sits ready to drop in.
U.S. Snowboard Team Rider Jake Canter readies to drop into the VISA Big Air at Steamboat. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard/Mike Dawsy)

The U.S. Snowboard and U.S. Freeski teams are heading into the first and only Big Air qualifying event of the season for the U.S. in Steamboat, Colorado this week. Snowboarding is set to make its second Olympic appearance at the 2022 Winter Games and Freeski Big Air is set to make its Olympic debut!

This weekend also marks the first time that the FIS Snowboard World Cup has been hosted at Steamboat, which has rolled out to white carpet to create the 60-foot big air jump despite unseasonably warm conditions. The action at the Visa Big Air presented by Toyota is guaranteed to be Olympic caliber as the athletes bring their biggest tricks to kick off the World Cup qualifying season.  

Both teams have been training hard ahead of the event, including two weeks of training at Stubai Prime Park in Austria through November.

The Freeski Field 

The Freeski team parlayed their training into the season-opening World Cup Slopestyle event at Stubai, where U.S. Freeski Rookie Team member Hunter Henderson earned a fourth-place finish. Henderson will be joined by two-time World Cup big air winner Alex Hall, 2021 Aspen Grand Prix World Cup winner Colby Stevenson, Mac Forehand, Cody LaPlante, and two-time Olympic medallist Nick Goepper in the men’s field. In the women’s field, seven-time X Games medalist Maggie Voisin, Marin Hamill, and Caroline Claire continue their push to the podium.

The international field is also packed, with Tess Ledeux (FRA), Sarah Hoefflin (SUI) and Elena Gaskell (CAN) among the women and Matej Svancer (AUT), Teal Harle (CAN) and Birk Ruud (NOR) as well as reigning big air World Champion Oliwer Magnusson (SWE).

The Snowboard Field

U.S. Snowboard Team athletes Hailey Langland and Red Gerard are both coming into Steamboat following second-place finishes at the 2021 Aspen Grand Prix World Cup and Brock Crouch is coming in with a top-five finish at the recent Big Air World Cup, Chur. Also competing are Julia Marino, Ty Schnorrbusch, Courtney Rummel, and Jade Thurgood in the women’s field. The men’s field is stacked, with 2018 Olympic Big Air Silver Medalist Kyle Mack, Chris Corning, Sean Fitzsimons, Jake Canter, Judd Henkes, Dusty Henricksen and Luke Winkelmann among the 60 competitors slated to drop. 

The international field includes heavy-hitters like Kokomo Murase (JAP), Anna Gasser (AUT), Jasmine Baird (CAN) and Brooke Voigt (CAN) among the women. In the men's field, there's a heavy contingency from Canada including Mark McMorris, reigning big air Olympic gold medallist Sebastien Toutant, and Max Parrot; and Japan including Takeru Otsuka, Ruki Tobita and Hiroaki Kunitake, plus Rene Rinnekangas (FIN) and Jonas Boesiger (SUI). 

The VISA Big Air kicks off in Steamboat, Colorado, with qualifying Dec. 2-3, followed by Snowboard and Freeski Big Air finals on Saturday, Dec. 4th with a full day of action. 

Following this weekend’s event, the FIS snowboard and freeski World Cup season will roll into Copper Mountain, Colorado with the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix, Dec. 10-11.

HOW TO WATCH 
All times EDT

Saturday, Dec. 4
11:30 a.m. FIS Snowboard World Cup Visa Big Air Presented by Toyota Men and Women’s Finals - LIVE - Streaming Peacock
3:00 p.m. FIS Freeski World Cup Visa Big Air Presented by Toyota Men and Women’s Finals - LIVE - Streaming Peacock
9:00 p.m. FIS Snowboard World Cup Visa Big Air Presented by Toyota Men and Women’s Finals - Same-day broadcast - NBCSN
11:00 p.m. FIS Freeski World Cup Visa Big Air Presented by Toyota Men and Women’s Finals - Same-day broadcast - NBCSN

Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021
4:00 p.m. FIS Snowboard World Cup Visa Big Air Presented By Toyota Men and Women's Finals, Steamboat, CO, Broadcast NBC