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Just watching the interview on NBC's coverage Iouri is so humble, and gracious. He's a good winner, the hug he shared with Shaun was really touching. It sucks for Shaun White, but this guy seems like a really good guy.

Ya, Iouri is someone I really wanted to see medal. He's one of the guys really pushing the sport (along with people like Shaun) and he always looks so upbeat during competitions, win or lose.

Its also probably a good thing for the sport that the American domination was put on hold temporarily. Would be shocked to see the US not podium in 2018.

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A thought on the judging system for snowboarding :

I'm watching halfpipe and slopestyle currently unfolding at the US Open, and I think their scoring system is putting the Olympics to shame - especially in slopestyle.

Here's why :


1. At the US Open, the overall score is made up of 2 components: a trick score (technical) + a flow score (style); once the judges decide on the marks, both components are transparent. At the Olympics, there was a single overall score, but we had no idea why one athlete would have a higher/lower score than the next. Athletes themselves had to second-guess the judges, from training to finals. The commentators didn't have much to rely on either. Everyone except the judges had to guess.
2. Each trick is identified live, scored against a max value, and ranked individually from feature 1 to feature 6 across the field. This makes slopestyle so much more interesting to watch, as you don't have to rely on the commentators to call every trick and you can easily compare performances as they happen. Trick scores are actually relayed on screen during slow-motion replays, well before the final rankings. They also allow athletes to see which feature they can improve on for their next run; this was impossible to figure out in Sochi.
3. Snowboarders know exactly where they rank on their technical and style scores - for example, 5th on technical, 8th on style, 6th overall. At the Olympics, an athlete couldn't chase a top finish or perfect a run without knowing how his score was actually calculated. The lack of consistency also completely misled some athletes, like Max Parrot, who scored 97.50 in qualifying, repeated the same run in finals, did it better, and somehow ended with a score lower by 10 points. This discrepancy would never fly at the US Open.
Had the Olympics used a better scoring system from the beginning on February 6th, I think we would've seen different results, less waiting for scores, and much more exciting competition. For example, it turns out that the triple cork didn't value as highly at the Olympics compared to other competitions - but some snowboarders like McMorris only found out after the fact and it was too late to adjust. Again, because slopestyle is judged sport, scores should be as transparent as possible.
To the IOC/FIS, fix judging before Pyeonchang 2018 and look at the X Games and the US Open to see how proper scoring is done. Don't turn these disciplines into a figure skating mess!
And everyone else, if you liked slopestyle/halfpipe in Sochi, make sure to watch the US Open (happening til March 8th):
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