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Snowboarding develops in leaps and bounds over 40 years

It's 40 years since the first snowboards were imported into Switzerland from America. Is snowboarding still cool?

This content was published on February 6, 2020 - 11:00

The sport had a rocky start, with pioneers having to bribe their way onto the lifts. You can discover all about how snowboarding started in Switzerland at an exhibitionExternal link in the Yellow House museum in Flims, eastern Switzerland.

Snowboarding attracted fans from the nonconformist skateboarding community and borrowed techniques from skateboarding, sledding and surfing as well as skiing. It became a Winter Olympic event in 1998 and has gone from strength to strength, becoming a mass participation sport rivalling skiing. Swiss athlete Philipp Schoch was the first snowboarder to win two gold medals in the Winter Olympics (2002/2006).

At the 1998 Games, there were just two disciplines: the giant slalom and the halfpipe; 22 years later at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, the disciplines were half-pipe, slopestyle, big air and snowboard cross, showing a significant evolution of styles and techniques over the past two decades.

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