Leave it to the “Animal” a.k.a. Shaun White to bring world-class snowboarding to the masses. White is teaming with Oakley to bring the legendary snowboard contest Air & Style to Beijing, People’s Republic of China, with a 6-star Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour event on December 4, 2010.
The event, which is fully supported by Beijing Sports and the Beijing government, will take place at the Olympic Sports Center Stadium, site of the Olympic soccer tournament at the 2008 Olympic Games. This is the first time ever that a world-class snowboard contest is coming to China, with snowboarding’s superstars competing for the famous Air & Style Ring of Glory, the world’s most valuable trophy in snowboarding.
With snowboarding’s biggest superstar Shaun White teaming up for the event, the venue is expected to draw 15,000 spectators on-site and millions on the internet and on TV.
Sixteen of the world’s best snowboarders, including top riders such as Scotty Lago, Andreas Wiig and Peetu Piiroinen, will drop in on the 42m tall in-run before performing awe-inspiring tricks on the jump — competing for $100,000 in prize money and 1,000 coveted points in the TTR world ranking.
With its roots going back to 1993, Air & Style has become one of the world’s most renowned snowboard contests, having drawn as many as 30,000 people to watch the sports’ best athletes. It was at the Air & Style contests in 2003 and 2004 in Austria where Shaun White won his first major contest. From there, the rest was history, with White taking two consecutive Olympic gold medals and spearheading the progression of the sport.
International Olympic Committee executive Gerhard Heiberg said: “After the promotion, participation and witness of the success of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, I was so honored and excited to help materialize the introduction of 2010 Air & Style to Beijing, which will bring China a world winter sport event. I expect Air & Style will open the curtain of China’s top- class winter sports programs! And I hope this will push forward the flourishing of outdoor winter sports in China. Beijing has a long winter and it is appropriate to hold the winter sports programs here. I also hope that in the future, Beijing will be in the list of the cities that apply for the hosting of the Winter Olympic Games!”