Photographing the Slopestyle Training Session at the Winter Olympics

Nina Zietman

One of the New Zealand riders

You know a day is going to be good when it starts off with clear skies. As the bus drove up the mountain this morning to the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, the sun was beginning to rise over the valley, turning the sky from pink to blue. Everyone seemed excited because today was the first official training for the snowboard slopestyle, which is making its debut at the Winter Olympics this year.

Lookin' sweet up top in Rosa Khutor Lookin’ sweet up top in Rosa Khutor

I arrived on site early before the other photographers had arrived. It was quiet, just the sound of the snow cannons topping up the slopestyle course. By 9am, the riders were beginning to trickle down the slopes. First the British team, followed by the Americans, Canadians, Norwegians, Swedes, all hooning down the 30ft drop at breakneck speeds. I saw every snowboarder I’ve been writing about for the past three months ride by…

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