Men's And Women's Big Air: Everything You Need To Know Before Watching

Freeski big air is one of the new events included in the upcoming Winter Olympics that will be held in Beijing, China in February. The announcement of the event's inclusion came in 2018 in a move to make the Olympics "more youthful and gender-balanced" (via Down Days). Big air made its debut in the 2018 Winter Olympics, but it was for snowboarding.

In freeski big air, skiers go down a tall ramp that propels them upward toward the end, allowing them to perform tricks high up in the air. Alex Hall, a freestyle skier, described how it feels to partake in the sport. "One thing I've kind of drawn parallels to is cliff jumping into water, where you have that same weightless feeling. It's pretty unique," he told Colorado Public Radio.

Beijing has built a facility called Big Air Shougang where the freeski big air and snowboard big air competitions will be held. The location is in an area formerly known as the Shougang Industrial Park, which had a steel mill that was closed more than a decade ago. As reported by Global Times, the length of the track is about 538 feet and the highest point of the slope is about 60 feet.

How is freeski big air scored?

In freeski big air, athletes are scored based on their jump, and they must acquire as many points as possible. Sticking the landing is also crucial in the event. Scores are calculated based on style and precision, as reported by Colorado Public Radio. A panel of judges gives out scores with a maximum of 100, depending on how the skier performs.

One of the aspects assessed is the difficulty of the trick the athlete performs in the air. Normally, tricks that have more rotations are considered more difficult, but there are other techniques that can be used to increase the level of difficulty. Another important point is the execution, and the skiers' control throughout the run will be looked at. Judges will also look at the amplitude, which is not only about how high the skier goes; the skier must also perform the trick at the perfect moment to achieve a maximum score. Lastly, skiers are expected to have full control during their landing after completing their tricks, according to NBC Olympics.