Barcelona is a joint venue for the 2011 World Snowboard Championships, which are being held in La Molina. On 15 January the opening ceremony and first event, the Big Air, will take place here. It is one of six events people will be able to watch at the championships and consists of snowboarders showing off their skills while leaping between 2.5 and 3.5 metres in the air and completing several rotations.
The Palau Sant Jordi has set up a 31-metre high ramp in preparation for the event, which is expected to draw crowds of 8000 people.
This year there are 400 snowboarders from 40 countries taking part in the World Snowboard Championships, between 14 and 22 January. There are six competitions, including Snowboard Cross, Half Pipe, Parallel Giant Slalom, Parallel Slalom and Big Air, all Olympic sports, and Slopestyle, which is not yet an Olympic sport.
The big favourites are Canadian Maelle Ricker, Austrians Benjamin Karl, Stefan Gimpl and Doris Guenther, Frenchman Paul Vaultier, Catalan Queralt Castellet (back in good shape after pulling out of the final in Vancouver earlier this year following a fall) and the Vergés brothers, among others.
More info in La Molina 2011 – Snowboard FIS World Championships
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