Winter Olympics: Freestyle Skiing

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The Independent Online
TWO disciplines, aerials and moguls, will provide the most spectacular skiing of the Games, whatever the Ortliebs and Tombas come up with.

The moguls event will be most readily understood by recreational skiers who spend their holidays desperately trying to avoid these huge mounds. Here, the leading exponents (Edgar Grospiron of France and Donna Weinbrecht of the United States) bounce furiously from hump to hump with knees and skis locked together as they hurtle down 220m of a 26-degree slope. They are judged on both speed and style. As if that is not enough, they also have to throw in two jumps (listen for the buzzwords, spreader, heli and twister).

The aerials, in which Britain has medal hopes in Richard Cobbing and Jilly Curry, are just that - spectacular jumps, with as many somersaults, twists and tucks as possible. The best tip for armchair Games watchers for the whole fortnight is to settle down for the men's aerials and gaze at the Canadian 'Quebec Air Force' Phillipe Laroche, Lloyd Langlois and Nicholas Fontaine in sheer open-mouthed wonder.

British team: Richard Cobbing, Jilly Curry, Hugh Hutchison.

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