As the 2018 Olympics draw closer and the world's best snowboarders unpack their bags in PyeongChang, you may be wondering who the big names are to look out for. The Olympics is an opportunity for all athletes at the top of their game to step up to the world stage, and here are the current front runners…
Representing the USA is half-pipe superstar, Chloe Kim. Having risen quickly through the ranks, she is now FIS number one in half-pipe, riding high with a nice collection of gold medals from the Dew Tour and X Games already this season. Kim is the only athlete in X Games history to earn three gold medals before the age of 16 and this Olympics will be her first, where she will compete in her parents’ native country. Also representing the USA is Arielle Gold who also reached the podium in the Dew Tour and X Games, winning bronze and silver respectively.
In the men’s competitions, Japan is looking strong with world number one and two, Yuto Totsuka and Ayumu Hirano sitting at the top of the leader board. Hirano, whose name loosely translates as ‘walk the dream,’ took gold in the recent X Games with back to back 1440s. He was the first ever Japanese athlete to win an X Games winter event, taking superpipe gold in Oslo 2016. Other top contenders for the podium include USA’s Ben Ferguson and Australia’s Scotty James who took silver and gold respectively in both the Dew Tour and X Games contests. Of course you’ll need to watch out for ‘flying tomato’ Shaun White, who qualified with a perfect score of 100 at the US Grand Prix. Will the sport’s most iconic athlete take a home a third consecutive Olympic gold from PyeongChang?