General – Competitors begin the Olympic season at the Big Air Festival in Khor. The new occasion is part of the World Cup, injured local champion Andrei Ragitley.
Switzerland instead of New Zealand or North America: With an introduction at Chur, the top air professionals start the new World Cup season on home soil for the first time. The Freestyle Skating Finals take place on Friday evening at 6pm, and the Figure Skating Finals will take place on Saturday at the same time. Qualifications are pre-qualified on steel scaffolding which is 40m high and 110m long.
A total of 26 figure skating athletes are competing for the premiere of Freestyle in Chur. The Swiss team is led by freestyle skaters Sarah Hoflin, Mathilde Grimaud and Julia Tanno, as well as skaters Fabian Bosch and Kim Gupsier. With the exception of Tanno, all of the above have already stood on the Olympic podium or the World Cup. Tanno, who is coming back after breaking an arm, won the Big Air World Cup in 2019/20. As a Lenzerheidner, she enjoys the support of Graubünden fans such as Davos Gubser.
Rajitley on the right track
The big absentee is Andrei Ragitley. The 2018-2019 World Cup winner from Flims Big Air, who severely injured his left knee in March after winning the world title in the sprint, is not yet ready to go. The 23-year-old social media artist declared that the healing process is going very well, but Chor is coming in a bit early. Ragitley said preparations for the Beijing Olympics in February are not in danger.
Among the snowboarders, she hopes to land the podium over Jonas Beaussieger. The 26-year-old from Schwyz, who finished third in the World Junior Championships in 2013, has reached four podiums in the Big Air World Cup so far. Also at the start, Nicholas Huber, the 2017 World Cup runner-up, appeared in italic style. For half-tube specialist Pat Burgener, the question of the first turn to the Big Air since 2015 did not arise due to the rupture of the cruciate ligament in March.
With Olympic champions, world champion and X Games champion Anna Jacir (Austria), Seb Toutant, Mark McMorris (Canada) and Alexander Hall (USA), the international field for participants is strong.
City events as a crowd attraction
Urban freestyle swimming events proved valuable to the Islamic Salvation Front. Unlike competitions on the mountaintops, events in urban areas attract large crowds. The first major World Cup for figure skaters was held in Milan in 2006. Since then, cities in Germany, Spain, England, Turkey, Holland, Belgium and Russia have come to the train.
In Chur, spectators are again admitted for the first time in over a year. According to 3G regulations, about 17,000 visitors are expected to visit the event site over the two days. The sports part is framed by various musical performances and other entertainment options.
Winter Olympics for free skaters continues on 19/20. November in the Austrian Stubai Valley. Two weeks later, the ice skaters returned to the event, which was held in Steamboat (USA).
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